Down Syndrome Ireland is calling on amateur cyclists from Meath to saddle up for the inaugural Tour de Leinster charity challenge.
Cycling legend Sean Kelly will be joining the cyclists for the challenging charity event which takes in a 600km route through some of the most beautiful scenery of of the 12 counties of Leinster.
The Tour de Leinster begins on Thursday, September 18th and continues over four daysuntil Sunday, September 21st, 2014.
Starting in Dublin, the route takes the cyclists across the Wicklow Gap, Bagenalstown to Carlow via the gruelling Mount Leinsterthen on to Athlone, Trim, the Hill of Tara, through Duleek and north to Drogheda, with the cycle loop finishing up at Howth Hill.
All cyclists participating in the event must cover their own costs, so all the funds raised through theinaugural event will go directly to the 10 branches of Down Syndrome Ireland in Leinster as well as supporting a number of national projects.
Based on the hugely successful Tour de Munster event, which has raised more than €1million since 2010, for DSI Munster branches, Tour de Leinster will raise much-needed funds for the Leinster branches.
DSI receive little government funding and have to fundraise almost 90% of what’s required to run their services. All services at local level are run on a voluntary basis by parents. Funds raised by cyclists and sponsors will be used for the maximum benefit of DSI members and will make a difference to over 1,000 families in Leinster.
Local Branches provide a wide range of services locally including: Home Teacher Programmes, Adult Literacy Programmes, Speech and Occupational Therapy, Early Development Groups, Social activities for children and adults.
Pat Clarke, CEO of DSI said: “The funds will make all the difference to the lives of people with Down syndrome in Leinster as well as their families by providing vital services and facilities in each county.”