Arthur McMahon, Team Donegal’s founder, held an open evening to encourage & inspire ladies from right across Donegal to get off the couch & take part in training for next years 2018 Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Challenge 555k Cycle along Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Coastline, as part of an 8 person ladies only team for Team Donegal Oil.
A huge number of ladies came along to the open evening at the offices of Donegal Oil Company looking for inspiration, encouragement and to express their interest in taking part in Donegal’s biggest cycle challenge. And they got it!
Arthur McMahon, explained to the ladies how the process worked after they register their expression of interest, what was involved & how Team Donegal Oil would help them complete this endurance challenge.
Arthur McMahon commented, “Everyone who wants to be included need to commit, they need to be self motivated & work as part of not only an 8 person team but as part of an overall larger support crew & each individual will have a chance to contribute their own strengths to ensure the teams success. It’s not just about completing the challenge though, but enjoying the journey and having fun, making new friends & participating. I was overwhelmed to see the response to our Facebook Post calling out for ladies to register their expression of interest for this challenge. Although we have to narrow it down to an 8 person ladies team, we will also need a ladies crew & back up support. I wish everyone of you ladies the very best of luck”. says Arthur.
Shaun Stewart, organiser of the Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Cycle Challenge, gave a simple outline of the 555k Cycle Challenge route & how to fit in certain parts of the challenge route into an overall training programme. Shaun said “We did have some all ladies teams participate last year, and we are delighted to have Team Donegal Oil, encourage a novice team of ladies to take on the challenge next year. We also welcome anyone who perhaps won’t make the team to consider entering a team themselves. Going by the amount of interest expressed & the ladies present, we could easily make up 10 teams. I would like to wish Team Donegal Oil & all the ladies the very best of luck.”
Grania McGinty, from Downings a busy working mum, took part earlier this year in the “Couch to 555k” Challenge, as part of an 8 person with Team Donegal Oi. She gave a blow to blow and honest description of the route they took, the challenges & organising they did to ensure that everyone was motivated, fed, looked after & how they as a team gelled which led to them successfully completing the challenge, all of whom had never done anything like this before. Grania is a really true Inspiration & the ladies related to her excitement and enthusiasm. Grania gave the ladies a really great piece of advice, “ You all must go into this with the mindset not only to #haveago but to enjoy it and have fun.” Grania finished by saying, “Myself & my other team members, have become great friends since day 1 & still take part in challenges together & we are so grateful & thankful to Arthur McMahon from Team Donegal Oil for giving us this amazing opportunity and encouraging us to get off the couch. We will all be friends for many many years to come.”
The inspirational evening finished with Donegal’s inspirational speaker and motivator, Nikki Bradley from the Motivation Factory. Nikki Bradley is a real inspiration herself & you could listen to her all day, a real motivator & inspiration. This young woman from Donegal has taken on & completed many extreme challenges herself, many thought impossible over the years, she was delighted to be able to provide inspiration & encouragement to the ladies in the room. Nikki is an adaptive adventurer, motivational and mental health speaker, SideStix ambassador and the founder of ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s’.
Nikki’s life has not been what you would call, ‘normal’. Diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer (Ewing’s Sarcoma) at sixteen and the receiver of a second total right hip replacement at the age of twenty six, Nikki has been on a truly unique journey. So unique in fact, she has been informed by her consultant that she is currently one of less than ten people worldwide to have lived through what she has. In 2013 Nikki set up a fitness based awareness campaign called Fighting Fit For Ewing’s where she regularly participates in physical challenges to highlight the importance of exercise for rehabilitation.
Nikki’s story was warmly felt throughout the room & as she said herself to the guests, “If I can do what I’ve done, anyone can set their mind to take part in any challenge that will improve not only their fitness but their mental health wellness and by taking part in a team of ladies novice cyclists, like this one, will be a journey that before you would not have had a chance to participate in and one that you certainly will never forget. The fact that a company like Donegal Oil have had the foresight to set up a Social Corporate Responsibility part of their business to encourage people to participate in activities to improve body & mind, at no cost to the participants, is truly amazing & I wish everyone on this journey every success. I am delighted to see so many women getting active & this is the first step in your own individual journeys, the fact that you are here tonight says it all, good luck ladies.”
“Team Donegal Oil was set up to encourage and motivate people who are sitting on the couch, thinking of doing something active and who would love the opportunity of a support team to help them to just simply #haveago at anything that will increase their fitness levels and mindfulness & just get them off the couch. We all know that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind and we all need support and encouragement sometimes. This is Team Donegal Oil’s 3rd year & we are continually trying to encouraging more people to join us and we are delighted by the response from right across the county from an amazing bunch of ladies. I would like to wish these determined, motivated ladies well with their application & look forward to training which will start soon. These ladies will #haveago & we will do this together.” concluded Arthur McMahon.
Arthur McMahon, Team Donegal Oil, Nikki Bradley, The Motivation Factory and Rory Kennedy, Smart Renewables.