As the wheels of community action turn various clubs across the country endeavour to improve the health of the nation.
One of those is the Finuge Freewheelers Cycling Club in North Kerry which are happy to support through National Lottery funding for good causes.
Established in 2011 the club has received two allocations from the National Lottery in the intervening years – the most recent of which was a grant of €6,000 in 2014 which enabled club members to stay active during the winter months when cycling conditions were at their worst.
On weekday evenings, and on most Sunday afternoons, you can spot the unmistakable green and gold cycling tops of the Finuge Freewheelers darting through the North Kerry countryside.
The club, which can have up to 70 members at a time, has inspired the amateur cyclist in the area to jump on their bike, brought neighbours and friends together and has become something of a tour de force in its own right.
“There’s a superb community feel to the club and our members come from a diverse background. The Freewheelers have become especially appealing to those sportsmen and women who may have stopped playing team sports but who want to stay fit and active,” says club officer Johnny Joy.
Thanks to lottery funding turbo training spinning devices were purchased which allows members to train indoors on their bicycles at the local Community Centre when excessive winds and rain roll in from the Atlantic. On dark evenings with music pumping in the hall members can have their work out and get together without being punished by the elements.
“We also purchased three bicycles of different sizes which we loan out to people who are considering getting involved with the club,” said Johnny Joy, adding: “The funding allows us to maintain bikes and equipment and means when we take to the road we have everything we need to make the most of our beautiful North Kerry countryside.”
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on games go back to National Lottery funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage. Over €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes.