The annual #AndSheCycles awards ceremony was held on May 4th at Richmond Barracks in Dublin with many ambassadors and their teachers attending on the day.
Girls were given an activity to do upon arrival (decorate bike wheels with colourful strips of fabric), while they enjoyed hot beverages, juice, fruit and cupcakes. Ciara Norton opened the ceremony and praised the ambassadors, teachers and team for the success of the last year. Elaine Gallagher entertained the girls with a history of the bicycle, particularly its role as a symbol of independence for women and girls. The ambassadors were each presented with their medals, and Outstanding Ambassador awards were given to five ambassadors (one not in attendance). Photos were taken in the beautiful garden located on the grounds of the barracks. A delicious lunch with vegetarian and vegan options was served to everyone by the wonderful team at FoodCloud.
Pictured: Outstanding Ambassadors Mia and Chloe from St Joseph’s Secondary (Rush), Lucy from Loreto Secondary Kilkenny, and Seren from Ashbourne Community College
Outstanding Ambassadors 2022/23:
Chloe Hanratty and Mia Murphy Hill – St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Rush, Co. Dublin
A dynamic duo, Chloe and Mia showed great teamwork as #AndSheCycles ambassadors. Through identifying the attitudes towards cycling among their female peers, they tailored their actions to address the concerns of students directly, and in doing so, created a safe and social cycling experience. In organising their girls-only cycle, they showed great initiative in approaching staff at the school for support, along with a local business for a hot chocolate reward at the end of the event. The success of the cycle was largely due to the comfort that the group dynamic provided, as well as knowing they have the encouragement and support from the school and community.
Colene O’Callaghan – Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland, Co. Kerry
Colene loves cycling! As an #AndSheCycles ambassador, she brought out the love of cycling in many at her school. She tapped into the happy memories of students and teachers alike cycling at all ages, and very much made ‘fun’ her mantra for the year. She incorporated cycling into her work experience, and in doing so, “cycled a mile” in the shoes of those affected by stroke as they took on cycling as part of their physical therapy. With her new bike, she faces the world with her helmet and high-viz on, and a big smile on her face.
Lucy Dalton – Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny
As an #AndSheCycles ambassador, Lucy demonstrated what it is to be a true role model. In order to be an inspiration to others, we must first inspire ourselves. Through her own personal journey into cycling, Lucy bravely shared her experience and her hard work with her fellow classmates, both the set backs and the achievements. Lucy is happy to share this sense of pride with the world and truly wants to be part of the change to see more female cyclists in Ireland in the near future.
Seren Barry – Ashbourne Community School, Ashbourne, Co. Meath
Seren, as part of a close unit of ambassadors in her school, excelled at presenting a high standard of awareness-raising skills to promote the #AndSheCycles campaign. With a large student body and faculty to reach out to, Seren showed an aptitude for using the power of various media to change attitudes to cycling, whether it was through social media or simply the school notice board. She displayed an ambitious mind and clear forward-thinking in her determination to see the successes of her time as ambassador endure for years to come.