NCC & Marie Keating Foundation Tour of Kildare 2001 > 2016
I joined Naas Cycling Club [NCC] in1989 having competed in athletics over 20 years and due to injury I was searching for a new sport.NCC was a small club comprising racers , underage and senior, and a small leisure group.The Tour of Kildare[ Tok ] 200K was an annual challenge ran by the club and attracted experienced cyclists. This was run and managed by Tom Keenan who also looked after the underage racers.
In 2001 Club Chairman Mattie Corcoran and Secretary Hugh Durnin were approached by Linda Keating and Mick Higgins to run an event to raise much needed funds for The Marie Keating Foundation [MKF] Following discussions with other leisure members, John Boyle, Tom Ryan, Donal Buckley and Mick Kelly amongst others we agreed. It proved to be a momentous day in the story of NCC as our small membership has swelled to 200 + in 2016.Marie Keating Foundation has benefitted with €238k.Over the years the event has received support from many different sponsors and when Martin Earley added his name to our event we attracted cyclists who welcomed the opportunity to cycle alongside a Tour de France & Girostage winner. The event, together with the growing interest in leisure cycling has attracted fields of 600 , a long way from the initial 20 participants.
On a personal level I have participated in all the events. The second Sunday in August is our date. NCC is delighted to bring so many cyclists to Naas, the colour and excitement is palpable as we roll out at ten and later the smell of burgers and the craic afterwards creates a deep social event. I have been fortunate to join my son Cormac, and son in law Steve at the start for many years to be welcomed back by our families. Sadly, not at the same time!
NCC is a member of Cycling Ireland and our members participate in many other CI events. The ToK is recognised as a Sportif that creates a special atmosphere for cyclists of all abilities. All money raised goes directly to MKF, NCC does not receive any part of the money raised.
NCC is delighted to be a partner with MKF. It has brought us many new members and MFK has been able to provide services through difficult years. Looking forward to welcoming many other CI clubs and other cyclists to Naas on August 13th.
Pictures courtesy Naas Photography Group