Above - Down Syndrome Tipperary members with family and friends of the late Sarah Dillon at the launch of Sarah's Cycle. Also included are Sarah's parents, Brian and Trish, and her uncle, the renowned artist Des Dillon.
A group of leisure cyclists will gather at the Clonmel Park Hotel next Saturday and Sunday, February 24th and 25th, to embark on a two-day cycle to honour the memory of beautiful 9 year-old Sarah Dillon from Clonmel, who passed away suddenly in April 2014.
Sarah's Cycle is organised each year as a training spin for the annual Tour de Munster Cycle, which this year takes place from 9th-12th August, when 150 cyclists will complete a four-day, 640 kilometres tour through Munster to raise vital funding for the six Munster county branches of Down Syndrome Ireland.
Sarah, along with her parents Trish McGrath and Brian Dillon, have been an integral part of both events and Paul Sheridan, organiser of the Tour de Munster, said "Sarah touched so many lives in a very special way. It was only fitting that her beautiful memory should be honoured and remembered, and this cycle weekend is dedicated to her memory".
With this in mind an open invitation is extended to all cycling enthusiasts to join in this cycle and share the journey to honour Sarah’s memory.
The late Sarah Dillon
Day one, on Saturday, will see cyclists go from the Clonmel Park Hotel to Killenaule, Dualla, Cashel, Cahir, Ardfinnan and back by Knocklofty to the Park Hotel.The two routes on Saturday include 60 kms and 90 kms cycles.
Day Two, Sunday, will take cyclists to Carrick-on Suir, through Rathgormack and back to Clonmel in a 65 kms loop, with an option to climb Seskin Hill.
Registration, which begins at 9.15am, is free. Voluntary donations to Down Syndrome Ireland's Tipperary Branch will be gladly accepted.
Both stages will commence at 10am and all cycling enthusiasts are welcome.
All interested cyclists should check out the Down Syndrome Tipperary Facebook page for cycle routes and further details.
Down Syndrome Ireland is a voluntary organisation and its main objective is to ensure that each person has the opportunity to develop to his or her full potential.
The services provided include Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Tutoring, Fitness and Art Therapy, cookery and computer classes and dance classes, along with a host of supports and resources for members and their families.
Above - At the launch of Sarah's Cycle, were, from left, Millie and Mary O'Flynn, Frances Ryan, Conor and Anne Marie Keane, Trisha McGrath and Sarah Kenny.
This all takes funding, and through the support and great work of the cyclists more people with Down Syndrome will be helped in a practical way.
Sarah Dillon was so full of life. She loved to dance and was a member of the On Your Toes Dance group in Clonmel, winning many trophies for her dancing. She loved the costumes, the glitz and the sparkle of it all. Sarah was so proud when she mastered the one-handed cartwheel.
She also played football with Clonmel Town Football for All and was a member of the Dolphin Swimming Club, Clonmel.
Sarah's memory, with her cheeky grin and sparkle in her eye, will be cherished forever and next weekend's cycle will celebrate her short but very full life.
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