In conversation with… Tom Fitzgibbon
June 10th 2019
We chatted with Jigsaw Hero Tom Fitzgibbon who is currently training for a Mizen to Malin cycle in aid of Jigsaw!
How did you first become involved with Jigsaw?
I got involved with Jigsaw Galway four years ago when my daughter Molly was a member of the Youth Advisory Panel. She came home from a YAP meeting one day and suggested it would be a great idea if we both participated in the upcoming fundraising cycle called the Giro D’Galway - a 360km cycle over two days around county Galway! I'd been doing spinning classes for a while so I felt I was up for it! But for both of us to try it out, we rented bikes and went for a 30km spin. Let’s just say that from that day on I was left to prepare for the Giro on my own..! It was tough the first year but after finishing, it was a great feeling having been part of such a worthwhile cause and there was a wonderful sense of camaraderie amongst all those taking part. I kept coming back for more and as Jigsaw was becoming a national service, the Giro grew to three days, 470km and became the Giro D’Jigsaw covering Galway to Dublin stopping off at different Jigsaw offices along the way.
What inspired you to cycle Mizen to Malin this year to support Jigsaw?
After last year’s Giro a number of us were talking about the next big challenge and the idea of Mizen to Malin was suggested – well we had already gone West Coast to East, might as well go South to North while we’re at it! Niall, Marie and Padraic have been the driving force behind it and the mandatory WhatsApp group was created to keep everyone informed and motivated to train at a time when my bike is usually in the garage!
What are you most looking forward to with the spin?
With the group we have, some of the training spins so far have been a great laugh and even though the physical aspect will be tough, especially on day two, there’s a determination that we are all going to get through this together and have fun along the way! So, I’m looking forward to enjoying the journey and not just reaching the destination!
Why do you think it is important to support Jigsaw and young people’s mental health?
As part of the Giro I’ve learned about Jigsaw's philosophy that being One Good Adult in a young person’s life has a positive influence on their mental health. Whatever your occupation, as adults we all have a role to play in supporting the young people around us. In my own way - be it through raising funds or raising awareness - I too want to be that One Good Adult and support the great work being done by Jigsaw across the country.
What other interests do you have?
I’m a keen sports fan and I play badminton competitively. I’m also a member of Toastmasters, so keep an eye out for me as a Motivational Speaker in the future!