Legendary Cycling Champ Seán Kelly to Lead “Get Breathless for COPD” Cycle Challenge from Galway to Dublin
Locals are being urged to come out in force on Friday June 23 to support a 50-strong group of cycling enthusiasts who are gearing up to take off from Galway as part of a cycling challenge in aid of COPD Support Ireland. The “Get Breathless for COPD” charity cycle from Galway to Dublin, which is supported by A. Menarini and led by legendary cycling champion Seán Kelly, will see the riders get up close and personal with the people and the places of Galway city and county like never before.
COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is perhaps better known as bronchitis or emphysema, and is where the airways of the lungs are narrower than normal, leading to airflow obstruction and difficulty breathing. It is the fourth most common cause of death in Ireland after heart disease, lung cancer and stroke.
The cycling challenge takes place over two days, with participants getting on their bikes in Galway on Friday June 23 and travelling as far as Athlone, before hitting the road again for Dublin on Saturday June 24. The challenge aims to generate awareness of COPD, while also raising up to €20,000 in much-needed funds for vital COPD services. Members of the public can lend their support by texting “COPD” to 50300 to donate €2* [*100% of a donation goes to COPD Support Ireland across most network operators. Some operators apply VAT which means that a minimum of €1.63 will go to COPD Support Ireland. Service Provider: LIKE CHARITY. Helpline: 076 690 5278]
The route itinerary sees the riders visit the following locations on Friday June 23:
- Galway’s Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa at 11am for the start of the cycle
- Athenry – 12.15pm approximately
- Ballinasloe – 3pm approximately
Leader of the Pack
As leader of the cycling pack for the “Get Breathless for COPD” challenge, world-renowned cycling champion, Seán Kelly, believes the event offers a great opportunity to showcase the importance of physical activity for better health:
“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the saddle again for COPD Support Ireland and to joining a really enthusiastic gang of people keen to raise awareness of COPD. I’d encourage everyone to make themselves aware of the disease and the steps that they can take to minimise their risk by not smoking, by eating a healthy diet and by exercising for 30 minutes most days.
“And, of course, what better way to enjoy physical activity than to go out for a regular spin on a bicycle? It’s great for blowing out the cobwebs, for getting back in touch with nature, and for giving our lungs a good workout. Please come along and say hello if we are in your neighbourhood – we’d love to see you!”
Damien Peelo, Executive Director, COPD Support Ireland, is hoping for an enthusiastic and warm welcome from Galway locals for the fearless riders:
“We are delighted to be hosting our second ‘Get Breathless for COPD’ cycle challenge, thanks to our amazing participants and the support of A. Menarini. With more than 100 kilometres being cycled on each day, our riders will need all the cheers they can get to see them through to the finish line and so we are really looking forward to a lively welcome from the people of Galway.
“The cycle is a great opportunity to get the word out about COPD, which is estimated to affect some 380,000 people in Ireland, yet many remain undiagnosed. Equally, it’s an all-important opportunity to raise vital funds for our services, including our ever-expanding network of local support groups, including in Galway, and the provision of exercise rehabilitation classes for people with COPD.”
Knowing the “ABC” of COPD
COPD Support Ireland has compiled this simple “ABC” of COPD to help people better understand the disease:
– Avoid the risks of COPD such as smoking and environmental toxins
– Be aware of the symptoms of COPD that include persistent cough with phlegm, chest infections and breathlessness
– Consult a GP for a simple COPD spirometry breathing test, particularly if you are over 35 years, have symptoms, are or have been a smoker, or have a family history of lung conditions.
For more information on COPD Support Ireland, call the COPD National Adviceline on Freefone 1800 83 21 46 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or visit www.copd.ie
COPD Support Ireland can also be found on Twitter @COPDSupportIre and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/COPDSupportIreland