2016 was always going to be an exciting year for VC Iveagh, not only was it our third year in existence but we had scheduled a 12 race calendar and planned two very different sportives which included a new and unique Spring Classic. However our ambitions didn’t end there, at the start of each year the members discuss which charity to support for the upcoming season and it was decided we would create something a little different to support our 2016 choice. A plan was formulated and the L’Etape Rathlin was born.
L’Etape Rathlin would be an endurance event for club members and would raise funds and highlight the wonderful Cancer Fund for Children charity. The event would take us from our base in Scarva to Rathlin Island, a small island of the north coast of Northern Ireland. While planning the logistics of L’Etape the committee made the decision that money raised at all club events would go towards the Cancer Fund for Children charity, not only the L’Etape Rathlin, we simply felt this was a cause we wanted to throw all our support behind.
So from our first event of the season, the Iveagh Spring Classic which was invitational only to a final push charity car wash at South Down Feeds, VC Iveagh raised a total of £4100 for this amazing cause. With cheque in hand, or back pocket to be more precise a handful of the club cycled to Daisy Lodge, base of the Cancer Fund for Children on Sunday to hand deliver the money and get a look behind the scenes at the great work the staff and volunteers our doing. I think it’s fair to say we were all blown away by the lodge and the work that goes on within its walls, this is a charity that really does depend on the good will of the public and is 90% funded by donations. A big thank you has to go to Andy for taking the time to show us around Daisy Lodge and giving us an amazing insight.
Yet none of this would have been possible without the help and support of cycle clubs from around the province and we are indebted to you all. And of course the general public who dug deep and really supported VC Iveagh throughout 2016. Finally we need to say a very special thank you to a few people that in one way or another came to the fore to help us achieve our goals.
First up is Chain Reaction Cycles, one of our main sponsors who once again got behind us season long and supported us at every opportunity keeping us hydrated and fed on our 200 mile jaunt to Rathlin and back.
Next up we have See.Sense who kept us safe on the roads with their amazing ICON lights. Undertaking such big miles required plenty of evening and night training runs and with the ICON lighting our way to Rathlin we knew we were in good hands.
Then we had Tesco Banbridge who have been a great supporter of VC Iveagh not only with community room availability but also helped us with support for the L’Etape Rathlin and also supplied additional equipment for our car wash.
Finally a big thanks to Stephen McDowell co owner of South Down Farm Feeds who generously loaned us the use of equipment and yard for our Charity Car Wash, we can’t emphasis enough how important this last push for money was.