For many, Tuesday, the 24th of February 2020 was all about Pancakes but in Beaufort, it was all about Bikes!!
This year, the school has been chosen as one of the Charities for the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle. Funds are vital for the school to maintain the high quality of services for their pupils who are given every bit of assistance needed to help their growth and development.
With the students unable to cycle all 175km of the Ring of Kerry, Fiona O’Carroll decided to create their own version of the Ring of Kerry on the school grounds.
Just like the Ring Of Kerry cycle, Volunteers were scattered all around the course. Pádraig Treacy setup the official Ring of Kerry Start/Finish line along with the authentic distance markers around the course. Killorglin General Cycles set up the Bike repair station with the aid of Muckross bike technician Paul Curtis.
After a blessing of the bikes and pupils by Fr. Derek, the cycle finally got underway. Under the watchful eye of the snow-covered McGillicuddy Reeks, the students of St. Francis Special School braved the Winter winds to walk, run, cycle and jump their way around 1 kilometer circuit.
The Local Gossip also took part (although he was mainly there for the brack) and there were photos galore with Killarney favourite Valerie O’Sullivan snapping the happy faces as they made their way around.
There were a few who managed to climb Coomakista, but all managed to complete the 1 Kilometer route to cross the finish line in style. MC Cathal Walsh announced every participant as they were given their official Ring of Kerry medal.
The event was a huge success for everyone involved. The Bike repair station were glad to declare “zero punctures for the first time ever!”. Denis Daly, who set up the Cahersiveen Food Station in the school, made sure everyone was well fed with the brack which was cleared and the scones which were demolished. Thanks to the ladies in the kitchen, no one was left thirsty with Tea and Coffee on the go for everyone. And, while Brendan Fuller finished last, Cathal Walsh insists “it’s not a race”.
A great day out that will go down in history as the best Ring of Kerry Cycle to date.
Have a listen to Brendan’s visit below and feel free to share on social media: