Tomorrow morning will see 23 members from Everton’s Supporters’ Club network travel to Ireland to take part in the Sligo to Goodison Cycle Challenge in aid of ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’.
The weekend of 17-18 June will see the group from officially-affiliated Supporters’ Clubs from across the country cover the 230 miles from Sligo to Goodison to raise funds for HIWTHI, a fundraising campaign led by David Unsworth and his U23s team with the aim of developing a supported living initiative for young people in Liverpool, delivered by Everton in the Community.
Following on from the success of the ‘We are Everton’ Sunderland to Goodison Supporters’ Club cycle challenge in 2013, the Supporters’ Club committee came together to devise the ‘Sligo to Goodison Cycle Challenge’ in support of HIWTHI and have set themselves a fundraising target of £60,000 in line with Seamus Coleman’s transfer fee from Sligo Rovers in 2009.
With months of hard training and preparation under their belts, the 23-strong group will depart from The Showgrounds Sligo, home of Sligo Rovers Football Club, early on Saturday morning and will be waved off by U23 manager Unsworth and EitC Executive Chair Denise Barrett-Baxendale.
Speaking ahead of the challenge, Everton legend Unsworth said:
“I’m amazed and absolutely in awe of the group of Evertonians who are doing this. For them to take this on board off their own backs and to want to generate funds and awareness for our campaign is just incredible.
“Sometimes Evertonians just never cease to amaze you. They are the most special set of fans I have ever met. For them to give not just money but time and effort is fantastic. I know how much training these guys have put it so to do it off their own back and support us is just incredible – ‘thank you’ just doesn’t seem to be enough.
“I am going over to set them off. I’ll speak to the group on Friday night so I will be there at the start and also at the finish on Sunday. We will give them our whole support and I am very proud of them. It will be tough and a hard couple of days, but I am sure when they cycle into Goodison Park on Sunday night and we have generated so much interest and money, it will be thoroughly worth it.”
Toffees favourite and former Sligo Rovers player Seamus Coleman has also voiced his support for the cyclists and echoed Unsy’s comments saying:
“I wish everyone taking part in the cycle challenge all the very best – I’m sure everyone will enjoy cycling through hilly Ireland and I hope the weather stays dry. They are doing it for such a great cause and I can’t wait to follow evertonfc.com over the weekend to see how they get on.”
Sponsored by Live TV Store, from Sligo the cyclists will cover the 130 miles to Dublin with short stops for refuelling scheduled at Leitrim Village, Coole and Trim. They will be welcomed into Dublin by their fellow Evertonians from the Irish Toffees Supporters Club before resting up ready for the next leg of their challenge which will begin early on Sunday morning.
The Sligo to Goodison cyclists will make their way back to Goodison via ferry to Holyhead and then travel in convey back to L4 via Bangor, Rhyl and Birkenhead before being welcomed back to Goodison Park by friends and family and EitC staff and supporters.
Everton in the Community’s Fundraising Manager Carena Duffy said: “On behalf of everyone within the charity I would like to thank Brakes and Protein Works for providing a range of refreshments and protein bars for the challenge as well as Stena Line for offering a reduction on ferry fares to and from Dublin. The Club’s official charity would also like to thank Patrick Towey from Topaz Garage in Ballaghaderreen and the Irish Toffees for both offering a range of refreshments en route as well as the Conwyn Supporters Club who will be hosting us on Sunday for bacon sandwiches and a refuelling break.
Lastly, we would like to thank the staff and volunteers who are donating their time to ensure that the cyclists have everything they need along the route.”
The Sligo to Goodison cyclists have now passed the half-way mark of their £60,000 fundraising target and are calling on all Evertonians to help them to the finishing line. You can donate to the cause by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/supporterscycle2017
Reader Comments (1)
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1 Posted 15/06/2017 at 17:53:22
Well done to all and drive carefully!
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