When I arrived in 2005 back from a 5-year spell with my wife in Belgium and being involved in Belgian racing as a sponsor and volunteer, I was looking for a local club to join, not in a capacity as a cyclist but to belong to a club and getting involved in the cycling world again. My ex-brother in law and international cyclist Cormac Mc Cann was a Phoenix CC member and got me in touch with Brendan Mc Cartan from the Phoenix CC committee. Brendan recommended me Ards CC as it was the local club near our home in Newtownards. I went to visit a 5 mile TT held at Carrowdore the following day, and met some club members such as Bronagh and Brendan Kirk, Alastair Martin and his dad and timekeeper Ron, and a young Martin Irvine that night! I became a member the day after, done my marshal duties when needed, and the following year the club helped me to become a commissaire, helped by Jack and Paul Watson as tutors, passed the exams, and served the Irish Cycling fraternity ever since. Ards CC had all I was looking for, plenty of open events to help to organise or to help out. Years went by, got even the Volunteer of the Year in the club, and a few years ago Ards CC made me an honorable member for life which I am so proud of, I could go on and on, even was a committee member once, but this was not my cup of coffee, as I like to be independent and leave decisions to others and prefer to be hand on in another way. I saw the club growing from about 40 members to now around 150, which includes over 30 ladies, famous for their Classic Tour of Ards, The Champ of Champions, The Town center races and not forgetting the Tour Of Strangford, a sportive in aid of charity. The last few years they have sponsored the Belgian Project with a donation, this always at the end of the year, which means that I can make plans for the coming year each time. Therefore I would like to thank the committee and the members for believing in what I try to do, on behalf of all talented youth in Ireland from the past and the future…a big THANK YOU, as the success of the project is also down to you, yours in sport Dany B (Founder)

To join the club go to www.ardscc.co.uk