Organisers of a fundraising cycle held on Saturday, August 13, in Maynooth were shocked and delighted after the event attracted more than twice as many particupants as anticipated.
The 'Cycle for Mark' went from the Boys National School in Maynooth to the Hill of Tara and back, to raise funds for local man Mark Nugent who was involved in a very serious cycling accident in April and now needs to adapt his home for wheelchair usage.
The organisers thought that 400 cyclists would be an optimistic estimate, but a total of 755 showed up.
Mr Nugent, and his extended family are well known in the local GAA and cycling circles. He is a member of the Maynooth Students for Charity club and has taken part in several editions of the Galway Cycle — whose members were instrumental in organising the fundraising event.
Mr Nugent was present in Maynooth on the day to greet participants and to welcome them back. “I just wanted to say a massive thanks to everyone for Saturday from all parts of the world for coming to my home town and my primary school for this cycle,” he said afterwards.
“It’s back to the hard drive now as I continue to work hard and try my best to make all of you proud of me.”
Following his accident, and a spell in the Mater Hospital, Mr Nugent moved to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire where his natural athleticism and positive attitude has seen him thrive.
He has already set himself the goals of competing as a wheelchair athlete, with his sights set, in particular on a number of marathons.
A fund in his name has been set up, and combined donations are already coming close to the goal of €80,000.
To donate online, click here.