Minister to join Ulster legend on cycle challenge

Ruan Pienaar. Pic by Press Eye.
Ruan Pienaar. Pic by Press Eye.

Ballymena minister, Alistair Beattie, will join Ulster Rugby star Ruan Pienaar on a 90K ‘Cycle for Freedom’ on the North coast later this month.

After six years in Northern Ireland, the South African star is preparing to leave the place he has called home: but not before one final try to raise funds for a cause close to his heart.

Rev Alistair Beattie (Back right).

Rev Alistair Beattie (Back right).

An original idea of Pienaar’s, the ‘Cycle for Freedom’ will take place on the North Coast, and aims to raise £90k for global aid and development charity Tearfund.

A group of 30 cyclists from around the country will join Pienaar on June 14 and the funds they raise will go towards protecting children at risk of trafficking, disease and disaster - if the group reach their target, they could protect up to 2,500 children across the world.

Keen cyclist, Alistair Beattie, who ministers at 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church said: “It’s lovely to be able to do something I enjoy to help support Tearfund. Hopefully the weather will be kind and the riders can all enjoy the beautiful North Antrim coast!

“I really do hope that Cycle for Freedom achieves its target and brings essential help to impoverished and exploited children in our world.”

Pienaar’s long-standing support of the charity has been an important part of his time in Northern Ireland, which comes to an end this summer.

A father of two, Pienaar feels strongly about playing his part to protect the world’s most vulnerable, especially young children.

“I’m looking forward to taking on this 90KM challenge on June 14th. As a dad, I am passionate about using what is in my hands to help protect children around the world. Trafficking is a global crime that affects the world’s most vulnerable.

“I am so moved by the many who have signed up for the Cycle for Freedom and believe that, together, we can make a real difference,” said Pienaar.

Pienaar and the Cycle for Freedom cyclists invite the public to join in their efforts by texting ‘FREEDOM’ to 70122 to give £3.

The Cycle will take place on June 14. Cyclists can sign-up via tearfund.org/ni.

Supporters are welcomed to cheer the cyclists on at stop-offs in Bushmills around 11AM and Ballycastle at 12.30PM.