Join Team Tracy for Dublin – Belfast Maracycle; support two great causes instead of one.


RTE Sports Presenter and Charity Champion Tracy Piggott will dust down her trusty steed, which previously took her Coast to Coast across the USA with Sean Kelly in a gruelling 25 day endurance cycle, to compete the Dublin – Belfast Maracycle on Sunday 30 June 2013 and support Co-operation Ireland and her own ‘Playing for Life’ charity.

Ireland’s leading peace building charity, Co-operation Ireland, has flung open its doors this year to companies, sporting clubs and other charities to join in its flagship cross border bike ride. It challenges them to use its famous Belfast to Dublin cycle sportive, Maracycle, to raise funds for their own causes as well as supporting the on-going hugely important reconciliation programmes for young people. To date, 14 charities and 6 companies are already recruiting teams despite the near Artic conditions at home.

Tracy has jumped at the offer and asks sporting enthusiasts, North and South, to join ‘Team Tracy’ to undertake the 108 mile cycle sportive, leaving DCU early Sunday 30 June, arriving at Queens Sport Belfast mid-afternoon, all things going well.
‘Team Tracy and the Co-operation Ireland Maracycle Challenge gave me an opportunity to get back on the bike and do something really positive for two really worthwhile causes. Over the past number of years, over 400 Irish people have given so much to help Playing for Life. Since 2005, Playing for Life has worked closely with communities in Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and Ethiopia. We focus on the provision of schools, teaching and sport, which we use as a medium to help educate the young people of the community in health and social issues. This and the training of skills and trades has proved hugely beneficial to those individuals that we have worked with. Volunteers travel to Africa with us each year and really get involved with the community, whether it by coaching or teaching or just helping out generally, working together with the African people. It is a priceless investment in their future which they grasp with both hands. For the volunteers it is an opportunity to give something back, to connect on a very special level with a totally new culture,’ stated Tracy ‘there’s also still plenty of work to be done here at home to secure a sustainable and lasting peace on this island. Anything I can do to help Co-operation Ireland in its important work in bringing diverse communities together, so that they may learn to accept and respect each-others traditions, is rewarding for me personally and hugely beneficial to those involved in the charity’s innovative peace building progammes.’
This year’s Maracycle offers one and two day options of cycling as little as 40 miles or as much as 108 miles between Ireland’s two capital cities. The event avoids busy main roads as far as is possible, starting in Belfast on Saturday 29 June and after a great night in Dublin, participants have the option of finishing off or riding back North to complete the event in Belfast on Sunday 30 June. All necessary back up will be available to accommodate completion of shorter distances.

‘Individuals and companies who support charities have been finding it tough going to raise funds in the current financial climate, as have our sporting clubs, North and South. This year’s Maracycle event encourages people to take on the event and split their fundraising between Co-operation Ireland and their own favourite charity or sporting club’ stated Terry O’Neill, Head of Fundraising at Co-operation Ireland “we are doing all we can to encourage those organisations to use our Maracycle as their own fundraiser. Groups of six or more who commit to raise £100 or €120 will get 20% fee reduction and will each receive a special commemorative cycle shirt for their efforts.”

The Maracycle event was launched this week in Belfast and at the Dublin Bike Show, on line registration is now available at: www.cooperationireland.org/supportus/2013/maracycle

Co-operation Ireland originally launched the event in 1984 to address the terrible sectarian violence and political turmoil of that time and to allow the ordinary person on the street an opportunity to show their support for peace. Some 30 years later and the event remains a must do challenge for the cycling public. Co-operation Ireland hopes to attract over 1000 people to take on this year’s challenge, hopefully raising tens of thousands for many worthwhile causes.

To join Team Tracy contact Rossa O’Donnell 0035385 7306109 at Playing for Life or email rossa@playingforlife.ie.

For further detail on Co-operation Ireland and the Maracycle event, contact Terry O’Neill 0044 2890 321462 or email events@cooperationreland.org

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