Young Clady athlete Dearbhail Savage was absolutely delighted at the efforts of Killeavy Cycling Club in raising a fantastic sum to help her on her way to this year’s Special Olympics.
Dearbhail will leave in the morning (Saturday) as she sets off to Los Angeles, in California, ahead of the World Summer Games getting underway later this month.
The 15-year-old has been overwhelmed by the support of everyone ahead of her participation.
And none more so than the good folk at Killeavy Cycling Club who, thanks to a fundraising cycle last month, brought in a brilliant £1,200!
Dearbhail and proud mum Karen went to meet the members of the club and to be presented with the proceeds of the cycle.
In the space of four short years, the young athlete has gone from horse-riding for fun to representing Ireland at the Special Olympic World Summer Games!Dearbhail puts in the hard graft with training once a week at her local club, Oakwood Riding School in Mayobridge, as well as regular training in Dublin.
Her path to success has included a gold medal at the regionals in Coleraine and then onto Limerick for the All Ireland Games where she again clinched Gold.
This then qualified her to attend the World Games, where she will compete with fellow competitors from 170 countries.
The Games, which take place between July 25 and August 2, will see Los Angeles welcome more than 7,000 Special Olympics athletes to compete in 25 Olympic-type sports.
It’s a world stage for athletes to demonstrate on the playing field their courage, determination and spirit of sportsmanship.
And to be chosen to represent Ireland was such an amazing chance for Dearbhail.
“I was absolutely thrilled, I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I am excited to compete in LA and fly out to America.”
Killeavy Cycling Club, who each year run a charity sportive, supporting local charities and worthwhile causes, had decided to support Dearbhail in her endeavours for the 2015 Games.
There was a great response to calls for people to come out and take part, with both leisure cyclists and experienced cyclists enjoying routes taking in stunning views of Carlingford and south Armagh, before returning for a well-earned barbecue.
Killeavy Cycling Club Chairman Benny Smyth was more than happy with the turnout and the support shown.
He told Armagh I: “With over 120 riders taking part on the day the event was a great success.
“As always lots of small things have helped make a big difference and it’s great to be able to present a cheque that is being put to such good use.”
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