On 21 June, a group of 20 ‘Cycling Farmers’ from Limavady will take part in the 177km Gran Fondo, supported by Tourism NI in a bid to combine keeping fit with helping raise valuable funds for the Farm Safety Foundation.
The group of charity champions will be taking part in an authentic Giro d’Italia experience, including fully closed roads without even leaving the province.
The Farm Safety Foundation is a charity established by rural insurers NFU Mutual to help raise awareness of farm safety, change attitudes towards farming safely and reduce the toll of injuries and fatalities which bring a catalogue of heartbreak and misery to numerous families and rural communities every year.
The “Cycling Farmers” have been regulars on the roads of the North Coast for several years and can be seen whizzing around on a Sunday morning on their prized road bikes, bedecked in colourful Lycra. However the Gran Fondo offers this team a unique opportunity to ride alongside names like 1987 Giro d’Italia champion Stephen Roche and Team Sky’s Richie Porte and enjoy some tough climbs and breathtaking scenery during their 177km ride.
Team member and Limavady NFU Mutual branch office manager Brian Prue explained: “As a busy professional I needed something to help me keep fit. Over the past few years I have become more involved in the cycling community and met a bunch of like minded individuals and we formed the ‘Cycling Farmers’.
“I’ve discovered a real pleasure in combining my personal enjoyment of exercise with supporting charities. It definitely makes you work harder because you know it’s all helping a deserving cause.”
Brian’s company, NFU Mutual, supports the Farm Safety Foundation so the group decided that the Foundation would be their charity for this event and hopes to raise money to bring the farm safety message to the young farming community in Northern Ireland.
Martin Malone, Regional Manager Northern Ireland at NFU Mutual added “We are so grateful to the Cycling Farmers and we are excited about using initiatives like the forthcoming Farm Safety Week (6-10 July) and our educational programmes to encourage Northern Ireland’s young farmers to challenge poor or unsafe practices on their own farms as well as through peer pressure.”
For more information on the Farm Safety Foundation please visit: www.yellowwellies.org