Hundreds of people from all over Donegal are gearing up to participate in one of the organised walks as part of Operation Transformation National Walks Day which takes place on Saturday, January 18th.
Walks will be held this year across seven locations, with Tory the only island in the country being part of this year’s programme. All of the walks are free, are 3K in distance and get underway at 11 am.
Looking ahead to the day, Myles Sweeney, Co-Ordinator with Donegal Sports Partnership who are organising the walks locally, is hopeful of a large participation.
“This year we have seven venues included throughout Donegal, so there are plenty of options for people to choose from if they want to get involved. 3K is a distance we hope everyone will be able to manage. There are co-ordinators for each of the seven walks and there is a good level of interest growing around the county,” Myles said.
“Over 1,000 people took part in the walks organised in Donegal as part of National Walks Day last year. The big story from 2019 of course was Cathal Gallagher from Ballyshannon and his participation in RTE’s Operation Transformation which proved hugely popular. Around 800 turned out for the walk in Ballyshannon to support Cathal which was phenomenal,” Myles added.
Walking continues to be one of the most popular and underestimated physical activities around with many great benefits to both the body and mind. Walking improves and strengthens many areas of our health - reducing blood pressure, promoting circulation, strengthening bones and muscles and reducing many of life’s stresses.
“In Ireland approximately 63 per cent of our population participate in recreational walking on a regular basis. This is the time of the year that people are keen to start exercising more, so getting out and getting involved in one of the walks next Saturday will hopefully be something many can use as a starting point to build on,” Myles commented.
The venues and co-ordinators for the seven Donegal walks are:
Lakeside Centre, Beleek Road, Ballyshannon. Contact Martin, 086-3343355.
The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana. Contact Siobhan, 087-1438887.
Forbairt Eachla, Fintown. Contact Caitlin, 087-0517597
Ray Community Centre, Rathmullan. Contact Liam, 086-4519656
Maghery Community Centre. Contact Hugh Gerard, 087-3992651
Comharchumann Oileán Thorai. Contact Marjorie, 0791-35502
Craoibhin Community Centre, Termon. Contact Majella, 07491-19988