Wednesday, January 15, 2020

ATHY GFC has begun a fun family walking programme running in conjunction with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation programme, a great way to get your new year off to a healthy start.

The club is encouraging everyone in the community – both members and non-members of all ages – to become involved with ‘Athy Walking Together’ on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6.30pm over a six-week period. The first day was last Tuesday 7 January.

They’re looking for people to actively participate in this couch to 5km walk – ten laps of their fully-lit and tarmac-surfaced facility which they describe as a safe and secure environment for all, particularly families with young children.

During the six-week programme there will be weigh-ins, music and entertainment, nutrition advice, information and advice from local health and fitness coaches, and – of course – a cuppa. This is their fourth year and the club is welcoming back their support business A&A pharmacy, which will carry out weigh-ins on Tuesday evenings.c

“It’s very successful, it proves to be very popular every year,” said local councillor Brian Dooley, who deejays at the annual event. “Some people run it, some people walk it, some people bring the kids and the kids will go out onto the football pitch and kick a ball around while they do their ten laps.”

Brian explained that it began from a health and fitness perspective, but the social aspect has also become important as people can get chatting. That can have a knock-on benefit – perhaps they might decide to go out walking on a Wednesday morning or Friday afternoon together.

He added that people who have undertaken the six-week programme have lost up to a stone or a stone-and-a-half “purely by walking, without diet or anything like that”.

The club is asking for a €2 donation each evening, which will cover lighting costs, and whatever is left over will go back into the club. It’s certainly a great way to get your new year off to a fantastic start and, for more information, contact Brian on 086 1715290.

“When we started four years ago, to be honest with you we never thought that it would be as popular as it was,” he said. “The last few years RTÉ has come down and filmed some of our walks as well, purely because of the large numbers of people. Sometimes some of the participants of Operation Transformation on television, you’d see them out doing their walk on a Saturday and they’d have maybe people from the town, the club or the community out with them, they could have 50 or 60 [people]… I’d say most of [those] evenings we’d have 100/120 plus people out walking.

“It’s really, really popular.”

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By Conor Forrest
Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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