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Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle organisers respond to criticism

The new fees and registration process for this year’s event haven’t been received well by everyone.

THE ORGANISERS of the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle have looked to address criticism received in relation to changes to their entry fees and the registration process.

The annual event sees 9,000 participants raise funds for a number of charities by taking part in a 112-mile cycle.

Last year, many people were left disappointed as the high volume of demand resulted in technical issues with online registrations.

In response, they have rolled out a lottery system for 2016′s cycle, which takes place on 2 July, and the closing date to apply is this Sunday.

However, some have questioned the decision to move away from a traditional first-come first-served approach.

“Many of the first people who tried to register for 2015’s cycle were unable to get a place,” the statement reads.

“This was due to unprecedented demand for places – over 9,000 people applied for 5,000 places on the morning that registration opened which caused the registration system to crash.

To avoid this issue happening again and to ensure the fairest system possible for registration, we decided upon a lottery that would be run over 6 weeks, giving people ample time to register.”

They have explained the reason behind a €10 non-refundable donation for applicants and why a minimum of €170 must be raised by cyclists.

“This (€10) non-refundable donation was put in place to prevent people trying to gain unfair advantage by entering the lottery multiple times.

“Anyone who secures a place on the Cycle will have this €10 minimum donation taken off their registration fee. The €10 of those who are unsuccessful will be donated to the charities.

“At time of writing, more than 10% of all people who registered to cycle with a charity in last year’s cycle haven’t returned their agreed sponsorship.

“To ensure this doesn’t happen again and to protect the charities, those cycling with a charity are asked to fundraise a minimum of €170. The reason for this figure is that this was the average amount raised by fundraisers who cycled with a charity in 2015’s event.”

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The statement adds:

“The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle is run by a group of people who are passionate about the event and who share the one collective goal – to raise as much money as possible for the people of Kerry.

All are volunteers and all give up endless hours for over 6 months of the year to ensure our fundraising event is as beneficial as it can be for both the fundraisers and the charities.

“Every year over 30 charities receive assistance, 10 main and 20-25 other smaller charities with over 1500 volunteers providing their time to ensure the successful running ofthe event. The ROK Charity Cycle is often compared to other sportives but we are exclusively a fundraising cycle and not a sportive.

“We would like to re-iterate that all decisions made by the committee are made with the intention of maximising the funds that are raised to support local charities in Kerry.

“These funds are vital to the work these charities carry out and without your support, many of the charities that the cycle supports would no longer be in operation. All decisions made are compliant with the charity regulator.”

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