Dubliners are being urged to come out in force on Saturday June 24 to support a 50-strong group of cycling enthusiasts who will be entering the final stages of a marathon cycling challenge in aid of COPD Support Ireland.
The “Get Breathless for COPD” charity cycle from Galway to Dublin, which is led by cycling champion Sean Kelly will see the riders finally cross the finish line at the Commercial Rowing Club in Islandbridge at approximately 5.30pm.
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.
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!”
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.