Addiction NI is delighted to announce two new Charity Ambassadors, Motorbike Racing Champions Jamie Hamilton and Caolán Irwin. Not content with pushing themselves to the limit on their bikes they are now taking on addiction and are ready to challenge the stigma which currently surrounds alcohol and drug dependency.
This opportunity has come about thanks to our new charity partnership with The Dungannon District Motorcycle Club, more fondly known as The Bush Road Races. The Bush Road Races, is a race club with roots dating back to 1924, when the race was known as the Dungannon 100. Although it ceased to continue from 1929, thanks to the dedication of its club members it was resurrected again in 2006. The club are currently working hard to have the race back on the calendar for 2017. The Club Chairperson is Andrea Lewis and Club Secretary Pamela Purdy. Pamela explains,
“The Bush Road Races were seeking a way to raise the profile of the club while supporting a worthy cause. Having met with Addiction NI we agreed unanimously that this was a charity in need of support and publicity. The reality is that everyone knows someone who has been affected directly or indirectly by alcohol and yet people in Northern Ireland are still reluctant to talk about the problem. We hope that with the help of Jamie and Caolán and working with Addiction NI we can change attitudes to alcohol for the next generation”
Jamie Hamilton is a renowned Northern Irish motorcycle road racer who has won British and Irish Championship titles across a range of racing disciplines. He is also the reigning champion of The Bush Road Races and was man of the meeting at their last meet. Jamie competes nationally and internationally in Road Races aboard a Suzuki GSX-R1000, a Honda CBR 600RR and a Kawasaki ER6.
Jamie is currently in recovery having come off his bike at 170mph at the TT Isle of Man races in June 2015. Four weeks before his accident he had achieved podium finishes at the North West 200 when he took third in both Supertwins. Despite his injuries he remains undeterred and is putting his rehabilitation time to good use. Jamie is aiming to get himself back to full fitness for the start of 2017 season.
“I grew up in an estate and it would have been all too easy to fall into the trap of alcohol at a young age. Luckily I always had a passion for the bikes and that took priority over everything else. I enjoy a night out with the lads like anyone else but I also understand that for many people it becomes a necessity rather than a choice. I hope my involvement with Addiction NI will raise awareness of this charity with many more people”
Caolán Irwin is a mere 18yrs old and the rising star in Short Circuit Racing having switched from Motocross in 2014. Caolán’s short circuit career started on an Aprilia 125cc and he was podium placed in every race. Caolán finished off the season by being selected for the prestigious Red Bull Rookies Selection event at Gaudix in Spain. He was selected out of 3000 riders and made it to the final 38, the only Southern Irish Rider ever to do so. To top it all off he won Donegal Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2015. In 2016 he will be racing with Scott Racing Ltd on 450 RRV Aprilia and 550cc Aprilia in the Supertwin Class,
Caolán recently turned 18 and is now legally old enough to drink in bars and clubs.
“I am currently studying for my Leaving Cert in Donegal and as well as my racing I also play rugby and surf in the summer. When I was 15-16 yrs old I had loads of friends who were very talented sportspeople but I have seen them drop away from sports as they start to focus on going out and drinking. I think it is important to get the balance right, to have a range of interests and to set yourself goals. “
Addiction NI is the leading alcohol and drug treatment charity in Northern Ireland. We provide counselling, support and information to people affected by theirs or someone else’s alcohol and/or drug use. Our services are delivered in community venues across Northern Ireland
Thelma Abernethy, CEO Addiction NI commented,
“We are absolutely delighted to have the support of these successful, charismatic and dedicated sportsmen. It demonstrates a great maturity that these young riders have decided to tackle the difficult topic of alcohol and drugs. Alcohol plays a key role in within day to day life in Northern Ireland. We have legalised and normalised its use and it is now part of the weekly shop. It is not viewed as a drug and yet it is the most commonly used drug in Northern Ireland. I am hoping that with the help of Jamie and Caolan we can inform people about alcohol and its affects so that they can make informed choices about its use.”
Dungannon & District Motorcycle Club (The Bush Road Races) along with Jamie and Caolán will be helping Addiction NI with a range of awareness and fundraising activities. We are delighted to welcome them to our team and look forward to working with them over the forthcoming months.
Addiction NI was founded in 1978 and has been delivering services in Northern Ireland for over 36 years.
Addiction NI is the leading counselling, support and information service for people affected by alcohol and drug misuse. Our service are delivered at venues across Northern Ireland.
- Our counselling services is for anyone;
- Over 18
- Worried or struggling with managing alcohol and/or drugs
- Affected by someone else’s alcohol and/or drug misuse
Addiction NI also offer Family Support, Relapse Prevention and alcohol/drug training to employers across Northern Ireland.
Registered as a Charity with the Inland Revenue Charity Number XN 45 132.
Company Number: 12654
Jamie Hamilton (born March 24, 1991 in Ballymena) is a Northern Irish motorcycle road racer. He competes in International Road Races aboard a Suzuki GSX-R1000 a Honda CBR600RR and a Kawasaki ER6. . In 2015 North West 200 he achieved podium finishes when he took third in both Supertwins. Hamilton suffered major injuries when crashing during the TT races in June 2015, and is currently in recovery.
He initially pursued a career as a footballer playing for Leicester City under 9’s, and Bolton Wanderers under 11’s. After being taken to a local motocross track in his home town, he was spotted by Harry Corbett, a professional Motocross race team manager and from there progressed to Mini-motos, where he won multiple races. He progressed to short circuit racing and finally real Road Racing in Ireland and the Isle of Man TT races.
In 2007 he competed in the British Supersport 600 championship, setting the world record as the youngest racer ever to compete in British Supersport.
In 2009 Hamilton raced in the Metzeler National Superstock 600 Championship for Gearlink Kawasaki, the official KMUK British Supersport team. Hamilton started riding for Gearlink Kawasaki in the 3rd round and went on to win the championship
Caolán started racing motocross aged 9 and enjoyed much success. In 2013 he was awarded ‘Donegal School Boys Most promising rider’. In 2014 he moved into short cirtcuits on aprilia 125cc. He did 3 rounds and was on the podium every round winning his first race in Mondello
Caolán was spotted by Derek Wray and Bob Patterson who offered him 125 GP bike and raced the rest of that season on his bike winning the Ulster Championship 125cc GP Newcomers. He was then selected to trial in Spain for Red Bull Rookies 2014. He was the only rider from the republic ever to make it to the final 30 out of 3300 applicants.
In 2015 he secured a ride with Scott Racing on a 450 RRV Aprilia enjoyed 4 podium finishes in UK
Caolán is 18yrs old and is currently studying for his Leaving Cert Student in Milford Convent Donegal. He is the eldest of 3 children. His younger brother has enjoyed major success at MX and has also moved to Short Circuits 2015 racing the Superteen Championship.
The Dungannon and District Motorcycle Club AKA The Bush Road Races
Club Chairperson: Andrea Lewis
Club Secretary: Pamela Purdy
The Bush Road Races, a race club with its roots dating back to 1924, when the race was known as the Dungannon 100. Back then, winning speeds were averaged out at a staggering 49mph, with the winner lifting what was then a huge prize pot of £15.
It ceased to continue from 1929, but the meeting was started again thanks to the hard work of the Club members. The race ran from 2006, but last year things looked glum, with rising costs and a lack of finances. The folk of the small club situated just outside Dungannon, County Tyrone refused to be beaten and fought back hard to get the race on again for 2014.
Again with a break, the club and its dedicated members are working hard to have the race back on the calendar for 2017.
40 Elmwood Avenue
Belfast BT9 6AZ
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For further information contact:
028 9521 2179