ST JOSEPH’S GETS ITS NEW TRIOBIKE
Sports journalist and former Olympic cyclist Paul Kimmage cut the ribbon on the new TrioBike at Saint Joseph’s Shankill recently.
Residents, family members and volunteers enjoyed beautiful sunshine during the event, at which Mr Kimmage wished the residents happy travels on the TrioBike.
‘I for one know just how wonderful it is to experience the sense of freedom of cycling and it is amazing to witness the residents and their families enjoying this TrioBike despite the limitations of their illness,’ he said.
The TrioBike was purchased from funds raised through a number of family and staff-run fundraisers. Aidan O’Toole, whose wife Kaye resides in Avoca Lodge at Saint Joseph’s, completed a 60 length swim in order to contribute to the cost of purchasing the bike.
Aidan said he wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone that donated, particularly some long-term friends who wished to remain anonymous. They were with his Triton swimming club based at Pres, which produced the only Irish born swimmer ever to win a gold medal at the World Universiade Games, Aidan’s son Gary O’Toole. The involvement of Aidan’s friends was an enormous boost. ‘One of them said to me if I didn’t reach the target he would write a cheque for any outstanding balance. ‘His confidence in me proved right as I also raised €1,600 towards a second bike.’ Aidan said that the happy atmosphere created between management, staff and residents at St Joseph’s is infectious making the bigger picture much easier. ‘My motto in life is - “Do something for somebody everyday, for which you dont get paid”. Kindness is a universal language found in a smile and St Joseph’s has the biggest smile of all,’ said Aidan. The date of the swim, February 10, was significant. It was Kaye’s birthday, and she was one year in full-time care the same week. Aidan’s project created such awareness for the triobikes, that Carla Clarke from Cycling Without Age said that a further six bikes were ordered in Ireland. ‘It would be remiss of me not to mention the great camaraderie within St Joseph’s,’ said Adian. Most Saint Joseph’s residents no longer have the physical ability to ride a bike but the TrioBike allows them to enjoy the outdoors, the wind in their hair and a spin to the park or around the grounds of Saint Joseph’s.
Some of the volunteers who took part in the clean-up.
Paul Kimmage with Aidan O’Toole and Jim Leahy.