A MAGHERAFELT man is getting on his bike in aid of a local children’s charity.
Tony McGurk, who works at Barnardo’s in the town, is gearing up to take part in a 280 mile cycle relay around Northern Ireland. The marathon cycle entitled ‘Break the Cycle – cycle’, will take place on September 18th as part of the charity’s ‘Believe in Children’ month. Tony will be one of six Barnardo’s cyclists set to push off simultaneously from points across the province with the aim of highlighting the work of Barnardo’s. He manages Barnardo’s Young Carers service based in Magherafelt, which offers support to young people across the area who help care for a parent or guardian. The service has been running for over 15 years. Magherafelt is also a base for another Barnardo’s service which offers support to young people who have mental health problems or are at risk of offending or becoming homeless. Tony, who describes himself as a weekend cyclist, will cycle 45 miles from Newry to Belfast as part of the relay.
He said: “I am proud of the work Barnardo’s does with children and young people helping turn their lives around and I think a sponsored cycle is the perfect vehicle to highlight Barnardo’s work in ‘breaking the cycle’ and emphasizing the fact the charity works across Northern Ireland.”
The relay has received support from NI Olympic Silver Medallist, three times World Champion and European Champion cyclist Wendy Houvenaghel from Upperlands.
Wendy said: “I am delighted to be supporting this cycle relay in aid of Barnardo’s NI. A cycling challenge like this takes commitment and dedication which is also reflected in the work Barnardo’s does, helping young people to overcome obstacles through determination and resilience. Barnardo’s is a very worthwhile charity which has been instrumental in Northern Ireland for many years, meeting the needs of children and helping them turn their lives around. I’d like to wish all the Barnardo’s staff taking part in their cycling challenge the best of luck and I hope they have a thoroughly enjoyable day.”
If you would like to support the relay please visit: http://www.justgiving.com/relaycycle4barnardosni and for more information about Barnardo’s NI please log on to www.barnardos.com/northernireland.