Alan Heaney - Robotic milking specialists and Lely Center Mullingar co-owner/founder – will lead a group of four endurance cyclists on a major 5-day 2,000 km ultra-cycling challenge.
Starting from Lourdes (South of France) on Tuesday, June 18th, up through France, across the English Channel (by ferry), over England and Wales, across the Irish sea (by ferry) and down west to Knock in Co. Mayo – the four will travel from start to finish in just 5 days.
Mental and physical challenge
“This is an extremely tough, mental and physical challenge and along with cycling up to 400km per day, we will be roughing it at night and sleeping in small tents on the side of the road.”
They are undertaking this challenge with a view to raising money for Down Syndrome West and raising awareness of mental health - anxiety and depression - in farming.
“The event is self-financed so 100% of all donations will go directly to the two charities.”
Down Syndrome West - Swinford, Co. Mayo - ware donated a house and some land by Máirt Cambell along with 25% of his will so that his home could be transformed into a centre for all of Connacht to advance the daily outcomes for people and their families with down syndrome.
The intention is to make the house fully accessible with a playground and use it as the West of Ireland's focal point for the community.
Making reference to mental health awareness, they said: “We all know of the isolation, weather stresses and financial pressures etc that occur on many Irish farms and some really struggle with mental health and well-being.”
“Last year’s beautiful sunny weather - which may have been a God-send for most ordinary people - actually placed financial, physical and emotional strain on many small to medium-sized farms.”
“[It] unfortunately resulted in many farmers struggling with their mental health and some taking their lives.”
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