– 218km cycle from The Sportsground to Sligo RFC to take place on Saturday 13th August
– Club members & Connacht Rugby staff to take part, including Andy Friend & Eric Elwood
– Funds raised to support Claire Carpenter, partner of Connacht employee Ross Mannion

 
Connacht Rugby can announce that it is organising a special provincial-wide charity cycle on Saturday 13th August, in aid of Sligo native Claire Carpenter.
 
The 218km cycle from The Sportsground to Sligo RFC will involve both Connacht staff members and club volunteers, all with the aim of raising much-needed funds.
 
About the Cycle
 
The cycle will begin at The Sportsground in Galway in the early hours of Saturday 13th August and will finish at Sligo RFC. The route will take in all five counties with stops in Ballinrobe Co. Mayo, Ballyhaunis Co. Mayo, Frenchpark Co. Roscommon, Carrick-on-Shannon Co. Leitrim, and finally Ross and Claire’s home in Coolaney Co. Sligo, before the final stretch to Sligo RFC.
 
Taking part in the cycle will be representatives from clubs around Connacht, as well as a number of Connacht Rugby staff members including Andy Friend and Eric Elwood.
 
About Claire Carpenter
 
On 10th February, 35-year old Sligo native Claire Carpenter suffered a serious and life-changing event.
 
After a few days of feeling unwell, Claire suffered a stroke at her home in Coolaney. After being rushed to the ICU unit of Beaumont Hospital she was placed in an induced coma for over a week following a life-saving operation. Claire is now thankfully on the road to recovery, however significant funds need to be raised to allow her to continue her rehabilitation in Dun Laoghaire, and eventually lead an independent life at home.
 
Claire’s partner Ross Mannion is a Rugby Participation Officer with Connacht Rugby and was Head Coach of the Connacht Women’s team in 2021.
 
The pair were in the process of organising their wedding this summer which was already twice postponed due to COVID. Their wedding has again been postponed while they focus on Claire’s health and wellbeing.
 
They have three children, Luke (14), Anna (10) and Zach (7).
 

 
About the Fundraiser
 
Shortly after her stroke a GoFundMe page was set up to support Claire and her family. The support they have received has been nothing short of phenomenal, with over €90,000 already donated.
 
The aim of this charity cycle is to increase that number even further, and give Claire, Ross and their children the help they need and deserve.
 
How You Can Help
 
The quickest and easiest way to support the charity cycle is by donating to the GoFundMe page HERE. By doing this, no matter how big or small your donation will be, you will make a substantial difference to Claire’s life and would be hugely appreciated by the Carpenter, Mannion and Connacht Rugby families.
 
If you live near any of the stops, you can also volunteer to make the stop as seamless as possible for the riders on the 13th August. If you would like to help out please email [email protected] with the subject line ‘Care4Claire’.
 
Please note that all vacancies on the cycle have been filled, however you can contact Connacht Rugby or your local club to register your interest if more vacancies arise.
 
Further details about the Care4Claire cycle will be shared by Connacht Rugby in the coming weeks.
 
DONATE TO CARE FOR CLAIRE HERE
 

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