Cyclists encouraged to get on their bikes to help the town’s youth

Aileen Hahesy

Aileen Hahesy

A Clonmel community project has issued an appeal for cyclists to get on their bikes for a trip to Cahir or a longer spin to Mitchelstown on Sunday, August 21 to raise much-needed funds for the wide range of education and recreation programmes it provides for young people.

Clonmel Community Youth Project’s fourth annual Three Counties Sponsored Cycle will take participants through the three counties of Tipperary, Limerick and Cork. It’s being billed as an ideal training spin for cyclists preparing for the Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford the following week.

The event will suit cyclists of all abilities and is divided into a 40km route from Clonmel to Cahir and back to Clonmel for beginners to the sport; and a 100km route for more experienced riders that will take them from Cahir to Mitchelstown and back to Clonmel via Ballyporeen, Clogheen and Cahir.

Clonmel Community Youth Project Co-ordinator Catriona Guerin said all funds raised from the cycle will be used to help fund the educational and recreation services and projects it runs for children and young people in the communities of Wilderness Grove, Fairfields, Boherduff, Carrigeen, Oakland Drive, Elm Park, Cooleens Close, Heywood Close and Bianconi Drive.

“Due to the recession our funding has taken a hit in the last three years and is only covering the basic running costs. We have no funds to do anything extra, even running the basic weekly youth groups. At the moment 50 young people are taking part in our summer programme and fundraising is the only way we can fund things like the hiring of buses for their outings.”

The Community Youth Project, which was founded in 1989, is based at the Wilderness Youth and Community Centre and Elm Park Community House. Its aim is to assist the personal, social and spiritual development of young people aged between 8 and 20, enabling them to exercise greater control over their lives by making positive choices and decisions.

Educational programmes range from crime, drugs and alcohol awareness, sexual health education and personal development to basic computers, anti-bullying awareness, healthy eating and exercise.

The social and sporting activities it organises include drama, canoeing, surfing, cookery, arts and crafts, hiking and nature walks.

Catriona Guerin said cyclists taking part in their fundraiser can either fill out a sponsorship card or just pay the €25 fee on the day of the cycle.

She stressed that the cycle was fully supported by Clonmel Gardai, Clonmel Civil Defence and Clonmel Fire Brigade, as safety and support for all cyclists taking part was paramount.

“It’s a really nice route and the 40km cycle is very suited to cyclists starting off, as it’s fairly flat, while the 100km route is a good preparation cycle for the Sean Kelly Tour the week after,” Ms Guerin pointed out.

The cycle will begin and finish at the Wilderness Youth and Community Centre at Wilderness Grove, Clonmel.

Registration for both cycles can be undertaken on the day. Registration for the 100km takes place at 8.45am, with a start time of 9.30am, and registration for the 40km distance will be at 9.45am, with a start time of 10.30am.

“Refreshments will be provided to all cyclists on the route and at the end of the cycle at the Wilderness Youth and Community Centre,” she added.

Sponsorship cards are available from the Wilderness Youth and Community Centre by contacting Niamh Hogan on (086)6045810 or at