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Pals in 350-mile cycle in memory of Ards coach

By Niall Crozier

Holywood Golf Club professional Paul Gray is leading a campaign to drum up support for a 350-mile cycle in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The charity cycle follows the death of close friend, and former Ards rugby coach Cois Beukes, in November.

Popular South African Cois lost his 10-month battle with a rare and aggressive form of cancer known as Sarcoma, leaving a young widow Rachel and three-year-old daughter Naomi.

Paul said: “Cois had an incredible way of caring for others around him and his passing at just 35 years of age is a tragic loss to all who knew him.

“Throughout his life he was an inspiration and his passion for rugby and his involvement in the game, both as a player and a coach, plus the fact that Cois was such an honest, loyal and loving man, means his memory lives on.”

In a tribute to Cois and in support of the work of Marie Curie Cancer Care, Rachel and a group of 29 friends have decided to embark on a charity ride from |Cardiff to Belfast.

The Cois Beukes Three-Nations Cycle Challenge will cover 350 miles over four days through Wales, England and Ireland — a journey mirroring the one Cois made when he first moved from South Africa to Cardiff in 1997.

Two of the four days will be spent cycling nearly 200 miles through the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia National Parks.

Golfer Gray is seeking the support of fellow-pros, golf and rugby colleagues and members of local clubs.

Well-wishers can donate to the cycle challenge by clicking on, leaving a message for Paul and the team.

JustGiving will send money directly to the charity, ensuring that Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer

There is also to be a special fundraising night at Holywood Golf Club on Saturday, April 16. Tickets, £10 each, are available from Paul on 028 9042 3135 or by emailing

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