A group of cyclists who started off the Mullingar Lions Club paris2Nice Challenge from the Hill of Uisneach on Saturday (from left) Noel Murphy, Theresa Parker, Siobhan Fox, Frank Dillon, David Coghlan, Anita Coghlan, Pat Liddy, Joe Fagan and Jim Murray.

Mullingar Lions Club 'leave Paris' for virtual spin to Nice

On a beautiful first day of summer, the Lions Club Paris2Nice Cycle/ Run/ Walk Challenge kicked off in style and the roads, greenway and canal were busy as large numbers of cyclists, runners and walkers got out on Saturday.

Event organiser, Frank Dillon, of Mullingar Lions Club, said it was heartening to see so many groups, companies, organisations and individuals latching on to this opportunity to get out and enjoy exercise and fitness activity that has a focus and structure for the month of May to complete the 800km challenge - which takes the form of a virtual spin from Paris to Nice.

"This can be a great springboard for the summer ahead," said Frank.

"It is wonderful to see many teams and groups working away in their own areas, both within Westmeath and outside – people love to be involved sharing their goodwill and generosity."

Frank believes that whether you take part as a group or individual, the enjoyment level will be the same.

People will encourage you to achieve your target and in the process, you will get sponsorship and financial support to help the most needy in our community.

There is a huge response from the schools, who are really behind the project. They are keen to take part, and many are walking or running 2km a day with entire class groups, which means they will get ‘from Paris to Nice’ in less than three weeks.

"Young people are keen to respond to the most vulnerable in our society," said Frank.

"As mentioned in recent editions of the Westmeath Examiner, Mullingar Lions Club are reaching out to many disparate groups in the greater Westmeath area who are experiencing hardship and difficulties at this time and will continue to be of assistance and support to many in the years ahead," said Frank.

Peter Tormey, Brian Maguire, Kevin Manning, Siobhán Fox and Joe Fagan out on the Mullingar Lions Club Paris2Nice Cycle on Saturday.

Runners, walkers and cyclists can keep in touch with a WhatsApp group set up to see who is free to cycle, walk or run on different days. It will help in their planning and preparation. To join the group send your number to Sinead Kiernan at 087 365 1894.

The organisers have found that there is positive response and feedback to date, big demand for sponsorship cards, as people sign on to take part, and huge buy-in from people who want to be sponsors ,donors and patrons.

Mullingar Lions Club wish to express their heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all for their kindness and generosity and to assure everyone that their efforts will greatly enhance the quality of life of so many in our community.

For further details contact: Frank Dillon 087 6443742; Frank Kiernan 087 2767584; Noel Murphy 086 4049518 or any member of Mullingar Lions Club.