Bobsleigh and away in Dungiven

Dungiven's local bobsleigh team. (1204SL03)
Dungiven's local bobsleigh team. (1204SL03)

A few months ago they announced with confidence they would be the architects of Dungiven’s first bobsleigh.

It didn’t matter the winter past lacked the ice such a zippy machine required. Instead, they said they would make a bespoke bobsleigh to fit the local terrain and, when up and running, would use the steep descent of Benbradagh Mountain to generate speed.

The Mayor of Limavady, Councillor Sean McGlinchey, tries out the bobsleigh with members of the group and their families. Photo: Stephen Latimer. 1204sl02''''''pictured wiht the local bobsleigh team. (1204SL02)

The Mayor of Limavady, Councillor Sean McGlinchey, tries out the bobsleigh with members of the group and their families. Photo: Stephen Latimer. 1204sl02''''''pictured wiht the local bobsleigh team. (1204SL02)

But would they actually do it, or was it just a bunch of kids with a silly idea?

Well, turns out the youngsters have fulfilled their grand idea and this week unveiled their jazzy-looking machine to family, friends and neighbours, including Limavady mayor, Sean McGlinchey.

The result is impressive.

It’s a sleek piece of kit, that any child, and adult brave enough to admit it, would be dying to try out.

Painted in Dungiven colours of black and white, the bobsleigh has wheels, brakes, and seats for two. It sports a painted shamrock on the front to represent Ireland. On the back is the number ‘7’.

“That’s my lucky number,” quips Karl McGilligan, aged 9, who explained they had a few test runs around their homes. “It’s class, isn’t it?”

Class it is, and a few passersby have thought so too.

“A few people have stopped and asked about it and said it was cool, where did we get it?,” explained the oldest member of the group, 13-year-old Declan Millar.

Not surprisingly, enquirers have been surprised to learn it was built by hand and from scratch.

“Sean helped us out. He was really good,” says Karl.

As to what they would call themselves was the subject of some debate, but the group decided on ‘Dungiven Cool Runnings’; inspired by the famous movie about the Jamaican bobsleigh team.

The boys were helped along by Karl’s granddad Franco McGlinchey Snr., who praised the group for what he said was a big effort.

Mayor McGlinchey was impressed by the youngsters’ determination to complete the low-cost project.

“You always hear about kids being bored and having nothing to do. Well, here you have a bunch of young kids who came up with an idea and saw it through. They worked together on the project and, although they tormented me about where they would get the timber and the paint, they’ve been fantastic.”

This Saturday at Benone Beach, the budding bobsledders will officially start the mayor’s charity run, which gets underway at noon.

The mayor added: “Well done to them all. They’re a hard working bunch of youngsters.”