Language Planning Officers ran cycling challenges for the Gaeltacht community over the weekend of 26 & 27 September during Cycle Week 2020. Participants were invited to take on a variety of challenges aimed at their own level of ability. They were free virtual events and everyone had the freedom to choose their own course. The campaign was run in conjunction with the recently established Gaeltacht sports association, Gaeltacht CC. 61 participants from areas throughout the Gaeltacht took part in the events. This campaign was of a high standard and these types of events succeed in normalizing the use of Irish on social media, both during the events themselves and when uploading data and mileage.
“Despite the fact that Rothaí na Gaeltachta was a virtual event, it is clear that the participants felt part of a particular community while engaging in the activity, even if they were out on their own. I went out on my own but I was imagining the other people going out on the same day around the Gaeltacht, imagining that I was talking to them about the beautiful sights I was seeing and thinking about the pictures I would take and the messages I would share on social media. So communication was central to the activity. ”
– Majella Ní Chríocháin, OPT na Cheathrú Rua
“I hadn’t cycled in years, and during the intense locks like half the country, I bought a bike. Around the same time Rothaí na Gaeltachta was announced and it gave me a goal – I started training, going further from home when I could and I enjoyed and benefited so much from it. I saw parts of the area that I had no knowledge of and it was great to be outside, soaking in the silence and beauty of the place on my bike!
It came at a time when people needed a goal and a challenge to motivate themselves, their health and especially their mental health. ”
— Nóirín Uí Fhlatharta, An Cheathrú Rua