Involving the local communities along the route of the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif will be a core element of enhancing the experience of the Cyclists as they travel north along the stunning Wild Atlantic Way coastline. Each town that the Sportif overnights in will be designated as a ‘Host Town’ and as cyclists, you will be encouraged to explore their towns and embrace their welcome.
Cycling along Ireland’s stunning Wild Atlantic Way should also be a wonderful holiday experience, and the aim of the Cycle Sportif is to allow our cyclists immerse themselves in our unique and colourful culture. We want you to come back!
The Community Engagement programme will involve a number of exciting initiatives;
Host Town Initiative
As the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif reaches the significant numbers expected to participate over the duration of three and a half years, towns along the route of the Wild Atlantic Way will be invited to apply to be considered as a Host Town. The role of the selected Host Towns will be significant as it will allow them to take up all the options in our exciting Community Engagement Programme.
The number of Cyclists on the road per stage will grow from 350 in April/May 2018 to 600 by the September 2019 Sportif therefore the Host Town applicants must be able to fulfil the accommodation requirements for these numbers.
Accommodation must be available in Failte Ireland approved Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels based on twin/ triple rooms and dormitories. The Host Town must be able to provide this level of accommodation within 10km of their Town.
Best Host Town Welcome
Each Host Town along the route of the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif will have the opportunity to partake in the Best Host Town Welcome Award initiative. In Ireland, we pride ourselves on our welcome and as we say in our native Irish language, Céad Míle Fáilte, a hundred thousand welcomes.
Following a day on the bike, there is no better way to relax and unwind than enjoying the local bars and restaurants. You never know who you’d get chatting to over a quiet pint of Guinness!
Host Town Charity Initiative
Engaging with local communities and their volunteer groups is a really exciting initiative being undertaken for the duration of the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif. Local volunteer groups are being encouraged to register their interest in availing of a number of complimentary places on their local stage, therefore allowing them the opportunity of raising much needed funds through local sponsorship.
TY Cycle Fest
Involving the local schools, and particularly the Transition year students, will be a wonderful and unique way of involving young people in their local community. This year’s event will act as a launch of this TY initiative allowing one school along the route nominate up to five TY students to join us for their local stage of the Sportif.
Over the next three years, local schools in the selected Host Towns will be encouraged to register to have the opportunity to represent their town in the TY Cycle Fest Safety Baton relay, which sees the Safety Baton carried the entire route of the Wild Atlantic Way in the safe hands of local community schools in a relay format.
Host Town Ambassador Programme
Each Host Town along the route will be asked to nominate their Local Ambassador who will act as the Official Starter for the Sportif as it leaves their town. The Local Ambassador could be a community worker, sports star or simply a well - respected member of the community who locals feel best represents all that is good in the local community. We’ll review all nominees and make our selection!
Ireland is synonymous with wonderful fresh local produce and seafood, and the food culture in Ireland has developed over the years through the many wonderful Farmers Markets in towns and villages throughout the country.
The Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif Lunch and Host Town stops, will act as a celebration of all that is great about the local food and its local producers. Each stop will allow our Cyclists to taste the wonderful diversity of product now being produced here in Ireland. To complete the stages of the Wild Atlantic Way Cycle Sportif the body will need fuel, and boy have we some great fuel for you!
So if you are a local food producer along the route who would like to get involved in this unique Wild Atlantic Way Cycling event, please register your interest through the link provided.