Trinity Wheelers, a team formed from Trinity staff and students, have completed the annual charity cycle, the Wicklow 200. Participants included Professor Neville Cox, Dean of Graduate Studies, Professor Mary McCarron, Dean of Health Sciences and Dr Aidan Seery, the Senior Tutor. Funds raised will go towards the postgraduate student hardship fund.
The cycle has raised €4,580 for the fund, which is provided by the Postgraduate Advisory Service to cater for graduate students who are under financial strain. Vice President of the Graduate Student’s Union Madhav Bhargav, who also took part in the Sunday event, thanked everyone who lent their support to the cyclists. In a tweet after the cycle, he also expressed his pleasure in contributing to the cause, which left him feeling, “very humble and proud.”
Speaking about the fundraising effort, Professor Cox cited the necessity of funding for support for postgraduates: “Many of our Graduate students are in dire financial straits. Every year, we receive applications to our hardship fund from students who cannot afford rent, who may need to drop out of studies or who, for multiple other reasons are struggling at a truly awful level”. Cox said the cycle aims, “to try to supplement this fund aimed at providing financial relief”, and praised the, “wonderful Professors and students”, who took part in the event as well as commending other fundraising efforts by others, “doing some equivalent form of excessive physical endeavour on a sponsored basis.”
Financial difficulties are among the many challenges postgraduate students face at Trinity. A recent Graduate Student’s Union (GSU) survey highlighted the severe stress, mild depression and anxiety levels reported by the average PhD student as well as finding the average masters student also reported similar levels of anxiety, depression and stress. Affordable accommodation remains another difficulty that featured regularly in this year’s GSU election.
Founded in 1982, the Wicklow 200 attracts over 3,000 cyclists from around the world. A non-competitive one-day cycle, the event takes place every June and covers over 200 kilometres around Co. Wicklow, now a major international cycling destination. A shorter variant, the Wicklow 100, runs simultaneously, with participants cycling 100km instead.
Additional reporting by Ciaran Sunderland