ARDGLASS will this weekend host Listooder and District Ploughing Society’s annual ploughing match to raise funds for the Friends of the Cancer Centre.
The 127th annual show takes place on Saturday at the Crew Road starting at 11am, with proceeds going to an organisation which provided support for Society member, Andrew Gill, during his treatment for leukaemia.
Andrew (24), who is the Society’s assistant secretary, was diagnosed last year with acute myeloid leukaemia. He is one of the top young ploughmen in Northern Ireland winning many national titles.
“I was diagnosed in June last year which meant I required four six week sessions of intensive chemotherapy in Belfast City Hospital. Throughout my treatment, my family and I have been offered great support from the Friends of the Cancer Centre,” he said.
“I hope the weekend ploughing match can raise money to help support the tremendous work the charity does to support cancer patients and their families.”
Top competitors from across Northern Ireland are expected to travel to Ardglass to take part in the event which will include Young Farmers’ Clubs competitions.
Society chairman, Martin Gill, who is Andrew’s grandfather, described the response from competitors to this weekend’s event as “fantastic.”
He continued: “We will have two fields full of competitors, with some travelling from as far away as Donegal, Dublin and Ballycastle. We will have world champions, European champions and national champions all taking
“We will have young and vastly experienced competitors, with some of the machinery quite new and some of it will be vintage. We will also have ladies competing alongside the men. All in all it promises to be a great event and we are indebted to Mr Cultra for the use of his land for the match.”
Martin added: “We have been overwhelmed with the support of local businesses who have been extremely supportive of our charity work.”
Society secretary, Wilfie Gill, explained that as well competitors’ ploughing, there will also be a Young Farmers’ Club fencing competition, explaining Andrew has received tremendous support throughout his illness from many Young Farmers Clubs.
He added: “Our committee is keen to get the clubs involved in our charity event. The teams will have the challenge of building a fence by traditional means and we look forward to a great competition and thank the teams for supporting our event.”
Listooder Society President, Mr Dai Kennedy, said all the proceeds from the weekend event will be donated to the Friends of the Cancer Centre which is working to support cancer patients and their families through key projects in the areas of clinical care, patient comforts and research.
Mr Kennedy said anyone interested in sponsoring any of the competitors this weekend can do so via the Listooder Ploughing JustGiving Page or by texting LDPS92 to 70070.
He added: “There will also be a ballot during Saturday’s event which will conclude in the evening with an auction. We appreciate the support we have received and look forward to welcoming competitors and visitors to the match.”
Further details about the event are available by contacting Mr Wilfie Gill, telephone 07899020877 or visiting the Listooder and District Ploughing Society Facebook Page. Donations can also be made online via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/listooderploughing2017.