Cycle Challenge

Rose's Gift Events

The Rose’s Gift Challenge


Land's End to John O'Groats, the long way round - 19th - 30th July 2009


The Rose's Gift Challenge saw 11 cyclists go from Land's End to John O'Groats, via the South of Wales, Dublin and Belfast.


Meet the Team


Organiser of Rose’s Gift Challenge, Team 1 Leader and Rose’s Dad:

Eoin Kelly


Trained as PE and Geography teacher and try my hand at most sports. I have played Rugby, football and golf since settling in London but my passions are Hurling and Gaelic football. I am a member of Clann Na Gael Hurling Club and Round Towers GFC but haven’t featured much over the last couple of years for obvious reasons. Getting a bit old for it now anyway and Golf wont keep the belly off if lots of pints are combined. Cycling seems a good idea as my ankles are crocked and I don’t fancy rollerblading much. 



Stephen Collins
(Second Leader Manager of Team 1, Manager of Corporate and Business Sponsorship)


I'm looking forward to spending two weeks of my life wearing lycra in really close proximity to nine other sweaty men. Seriously, this is a great opportunity to have some fun and raise money for a cause close to all our hearts. GOSH were literally life savers when it came to Rose (my niece).



Tom Lees
(Local Contacts sponsorship South London, Bike Mechanic)



I work as a freelance trombone player in London. I often spend the summer in tights at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and have recorded music for the Shrek the Third and Pride and Prejudice films (blink and you will miss my appearance alongside Keira Knightley) among others. I live in Wimbledon with my wife Katy and kids Harry and Natasha. I support Manchester United and also watch my football more regularly at AFC Wimbledon where Harry and I hold 5 year season tickets. I am looking forward to the Rose's Gift ride and I'm grateful for the excuse to spend more time on the bike for what is I can tenuously call 'training'.



Sean Roberts
(Route Plan co-ordinator)


Having witnessed what Eoin and his family went through when Rose was ill without really being able to do much to help, this seemed like an ideal opportunity to do something practical to help other children in Roses position - and have a bit of fun at the same time.

It’s early days but I’m already thinking I may need to upgrade the old bike. It’s hard work up hills, and all the other lads are jealous of my handlebar tassles.



Team 2 Leader:

Neil Gallagher
(Local Contact Sponsorship)


When Eoin first suggested this bike ride I thought why not, how hard can it be? Being a cycling novice I’m not sure if I will eat my words, but early training indicates it will not be a doddle. This is for Rose and the charities that have supported her and her family through the darkest of times, lets hope doing it for the right reasons helps get me up the hills more easily.



Paul Abrahams


After ten years in professional football with Colchester United and Brentford FC back in the day, I’ve been striving for a new sport to challenge my ailing body. 2008 saw my brief skiing career result in a complete cruciate reconstruction after falling off the slopes, but not keeping me down and with one eye on 2012 and the Olympics, maybe cycling could be my in?!


Taking nothing for granted in life and having two beautiful children of my own, Ethan and Abigail, the Rosie’s Gift charity is all the motivation required for this true test of endurance and mental strength. I’m grateful for the opportunity and to be able to contribute to such a worthy cause.



Team 3 Leader:

Paul Collins

Hi, I'm Paul Collins and Eoin has obviously asked me to join the team for my youth, exhuberance and boyish good looks!To be honest, I'm more accustomed to horsing around on a hurling pitch, battering down a black slope or sinking gracefully in a swimming pool!


The challenge of the cycle is daunting, but it will no doubt be an incredible experience and hopefully we'll raise loads of money and the profile of Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.



Jim Church 

(Team doctor and bike mechanic)


I'm Rose's uncle and her Godfather. Rose is simply a fantastic little girl who is inspiring us to raise money for the charities that saved her life. I'm currently based in Belfast where I work as an Ophthalmologist and am our designated team doctor. I enjoy outdoor sports and am looking forward to this challenge.



Andrew McManus  

(Promotions and advertising)

Hi. I’m Andy. I work as a chartered architect for McCarter McGaw Hamill architects in Dungannon, N. Ireland .


I’m a cousin of Eoin and like most younger cousins I’ve always looked up to him as a bit of a role-model. So it has been extremely difficult over the past few years watching the ordeal that he, Alison, Tara and the rest of the family have been through in helping little Rose battle her leukaemia. I can’t really begin to comprehend what they have struggled through so I’ve felt like I’ve been watching quite helplessly during it all. But now I know exactly how I can help Eoin. I can join him in his quest to repay the various organisations that have saved Rose’s life. Rose is very special to us all so helping her with her Gift will now become a main focus in my life.


As for my interests; I dabble with art and music and spend most weekends either surfing, rock-climbing or involved in some sort of misplaced creative project. I’m a complete novice to cycling but last weekend I did my first 50 mile ride on my shiny new bike, had my first puncture and suffered my first fall…. So I guess I’m learning fast!



Paul Kelly


Info to come...






And Joining Us in Ireland...

Sean Lacey


Myself and Eoin met playing gaelic football for the Round Towers! It wasn't long before he had me round to have a crack at trying to re-wire parts of his new house.  It was then that i got to know rose, i realised what a amazing child she was and tough it must be on the whole family. Unfortunately I cannot participate in the whole cycle because of other commitments.  However its a fantastic cause and I'm privileged to be a part of it.



James Kelly, Thomas Ward and Joe Young


We are mates of Eoin’s for many years through school, college etc.  We will be joining the main event in Rosslare for the 200 odd miles to the big event in the Welly Park in Belfast.  As you can see we are not as well presented or equipped as the other guys (we do actually have a third bike but we needed it to take the photo) I think Joe is the only one who is cycling a bike that he actually owns. But we promise to spruce up before the event. We’ve all got cycling shorts now.

Having been involved a bit with kids and hospitals through our own lives we can only begin to appreciate the ordeal that Rose and her family have been through and we feel privileged to be able to contribute in some way through sponsorship and participation in the Irish leg of Roses Gift cycle.







The Challenge Blog

Read the challenge team's blog about their journey.

Read more.

Why Did We Do It?

Eoin Kelly, Rose's father:


"I remember having a conversation with one of Rose's nurses, Teresa, when they were administering a vial of new drugs used to help control a serious fungal infection which put Rose onto a life-support machine and until very recently was potentially lethal for babies on chemotherapy.


She was on a concoction of medication including specialised anti-fungal drugs; IV caspofungin and abisome and Teresa told me one of these drugs cost around £600 a vial. Rose was on this two or three times a day.

I was struck by the resources being put into saving the life of my baby. I made a promise that if I ever had the chance I would try to do something, anything, myself to help repay this debt and help ensure that the treatment could be improved to prevent these types of complications."

Our Sponsors


Thanks to HostelBookers for providing accommodation for the cycle team and all their support for our fundraising.

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We are extremely grateful to Skype for their generosity to our campaign. We are going to wear their specially designed bib shorts throughout the ride and in other cycling events in preparation for the big event in July.

Thanks to Ebay for getting the ball rolling with their initial donation.

The Hilton Group have kindly donated a holiday in one of their five star hotels in Sharm El Sheikh to help with our fundraising. More details to follow soon on how you can get this great prize!

Accessible Retail generous supporters of the Variety Club have contributed to our fundraising efforts. Thanks to Mr Daniel Berrevoets (Treasurer of AR)for his kind support.


Thanks to the Best Western Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast and the Mooney Hotel Group for supporting the ride and offering their facilities for use on the night of Saturday 25th July for our fundraising party.


Thanks also to Cycle-ology for their sponsorship of logistics in terms of bike support, mechanicals and energy supplies.


Thanks to Informa Healthcare.


Rose's Gift supports the following amazing charities:





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