Riders hit the road to spread some Christmas cheer at end of first year

Bill Houston collects his prize from Portadown Cycling Club chairperson Ruth Mason.
Bill Houston collects his prize from Portadown Cycling Club chairperson Ruth Mason.

Portadown Cycling Club members capped a year of impressive progress with various displays of Christmas kindness on Saturday.

The Chambers Park-based cyclists’ inaugural season on the road wrapped up with a weekend Santa Run that included visits to Rushmere Shopping Centre and Craigavon Area Hospital.

A double-figure tally took to the roads to help support Cool FM’s festive celebration at Rushmere, with riders handing out sweets to children before taking on the second leg of the special fundraiser.

A visit to the children’s ward at Craigavon culminated with the presentation of an X-Box games console and controllers to the staff and patients of 3 South.

Santa made a guest appearance to spread some extra Christmas cheer before Portadown members returned to the saddle for a homeward run into Portadown town centre to deliver more sweets to the public.

“It has been a fantastic year since we officially formed around January,” said Portadown Cycling Club vice-chair David Moore. “We have enjoyed many fundraising drives in aid of charity and other great causes but wanted to end the year with a Christmas event.

“The weather was not great on Saturday but we were happy to get a soaking for the reward of helping out so many less fortunate.

“Drivers on the road were also very considerate under the conditions and we certainly appreciate that co-operation.

“We contacted the children’s ward in advance of our run and asked for advice so managed to provide the X-Box, with staff at Argos Portadown extremely helpful.

“Costa Coffee staff then made us feel really welcome and the children enjoyed the free sweets during our time in Rushmere.

“The donation of gifts at the hospital meant so much to the patients.

“We would like to thank everyone for supporting the club in this event and across the year, especially the members of the public and our sponsors.”

Portadown Cycling Club’s prize night featured awards as follows: Bill Houston (Most Improved Male), Jenny Brown (Most Improved Female) and Andrew Wakenshaw (Clubperson of the Year).