“It’s much more about having a great time than securing a fast time.” those words of this year’s Chairman of the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle, Tony Daly, are an indication that this event is much more to do with the sense of occasion and camaraderie it delivers than something to add to a Strava profile.
Kerry has many charms and most of them are combined in this one long day in the saddle in July. Established in 1984 The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle celebrates 35 years this year and has become of the single largest fundraising events of the year.
“We cap the number taking part at 10,000,” said Daly speaking to us on the grounds of the Parknasilla Estate in Sneem which takes up much of his ‘day job’ time.
“We had more a few years ago but it impacted on the experience for those taking part and for the 1,400 volunteers who give their time.”
“The sense of this being something very special in people’s lives is important to us and so we reined back the numbers and the result was increased demand. The registration for this year’s event opens up on March 10th and it will sell out quickly as it always does.”
In terms of size and scale, there is nothing on two wheels to compare. The fundraising capacity of those who participate will again see over €1 million raised for one of the widest collections of charities to come together as partners.
“In 2018 we will have 14 Tier One Charities and two further levels of another 30 who will be associated with the event,” added Daly, pictured left.
“We have stepped up our own ability to help people make the most of the achievement they aim to complete.”
“Of course, there will still be the traditional sponsorship cards but this year we are working closely with Future Ticketing and EverydayHero to provide smart technical ways that put us ahead of the game in terms of ease of fundraising and looking to the future.”
Both of those organisations are members of our Sport for Business community so we know they are in good hands.
The race is also looking to reach out to potential partners as part of a plan to build an event that will last not only for another 35 years but as a truly vital legacy for the region and the charities it supports both local and at national and international level.
This is not a sponsorship ask to turn the race into a vehicle for a brand, they are looking for something deeper, something that connects to a sense of community and ‘giving’. That’s not to say they are not mindful of the need to justify what they can deliver in return.
Data is an important part of the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle story. Daly can off the top of his head reel off the statistics that of the 10,000 who take part 20 percent are from Kerry, 75 percent from across the rest of the island with a strong contingent from Dublin’s business community, and five percent who travel in from overseas.
“Last year’s top performer in the money stakes raised €18,000 having flown in from the US, and he loved it so much that he is coming back again for 2019.”
“The average age of those who take part is 42, we are about offering something they will treasure to people who have reached a certain stage in their lives and want to have a target to aim at but who can’t devote time to a full-time schedule.”
“It really doesn’t matter whether you do the ride in eight hours, twelve hours or whatever, what matters is the look on your face when you arrive into Killarney and, as was the case last year, are presented with your medal by a young child whose life has been made in some small way better by the collective decision of 10,000 people to do something that will raise money for a special cause.”
It really is a strong message and a powerful way to invest in CSR in a way that will benefit the giver and the receiver.
Like any good Kerryman, Daly would sweep you off your feet with charm but there is substance to what he and his team of volunteers on this year’s committee are seeking to create on top of what has gone before.
“There is a lot of effort on the part of those who cycle, those who make it possible and those who support us, but there is an incredible reward as well. The fun of the day, the emotion that we see on people’s faces, is something that is priceless.”
Over the coming weeks Sport for Business and Legacy Consultants will be putting together an event bringing that magic of the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle to our community through an event in Dublin that will convey some small part of the magic that awaits on July 7th.
If you would be interested in being part of that, or in talking to the organisers about a potential partnership, drop us a line today and let’s start a conversation. It could be one of the most ‘feel good’ rewarding ones we will have this year.