Ballinasloe has entered the race for the much coveted title of Galway’s Fittest Town 2016.
The competition, which is an initiative of the Galway Sports Partnership, was launched for the first time last year with the purpose of getting more people in the community physically active.
The Fit Town competition has three separate categories; the first is for towns and urban areas with populations of more than 2,000 people, the second is towns and villages with fewer than 200 people and the third category will take in Galway’s offshore islands.
The project is spearheaded by Marion Ruane together with Fit Town Team members including former international rugby great Noel Mannion, Lyn Donnelly, Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre Manager, and two students representing each of the post primary schools Garbally College and Ardscoil Mhuire, namely Eoin Hurley and Laura Finn.
Since last November the team have been actively engaging with all groups, clubs, organisations and schools within the community to identify specific target areas and groups for inclusion. An information evening was held last November in Gullanes Hotel inviting key contacts from all groups to sign up to running an event or programme over the six week period from 1 February to 13 March.
“The level of engagement has been incredible and as a result we are in a position to offer a large number and range of activities as part of the Fit Town programme,” say organisers.
“There is something for everyone – all ages, shapes, sizes and all fitness levels. This is a great opportunity to get involved with a club or group and to take up that activity you have been pondering for so long. It is never too late to learn a new skill or start a new hobby and the Fit Town Project provides support to individuals in helping them take the first big step. With many of the activities provided free of charge, it is inclusive in every sense and there has been a high level of co-operation from all groups, clubs, organisations, businesses and schools throughout the town and wider hinterland.”
The Fit Town Schedule of Events was launched last week with over 50 different events on offer from walking to running (couch to 5k), cycling (couch to 40k), yoga, swimming, jive and waltz classes, modern dance, operation transformation, self defence and much more.
The full schedule, which is categorised by age profile is available online at www.balli nasloe.ie/fittown.html.
In addition to the physical activity schedule the organisers have collaborated with food businesses and producers in the town who have willingly signed up to be part of the ‘Healthy Food Town’ offering new healthy options and which will extend beyond the 6 week period.
Organisers have also joined forces with both the new Ballinasloe Library and Ballinasloe Credit Union for competitions targeted at both primary and post primary schools with a common theme ‘Healthy Little Me’. Primary schools students will have the opportunity to participate in an Art Competition and the Post Primary’s challenge is a ‘6 Word Story’.
Plans are also underway to hold a Fit Town Celebration Day on Sunday 13 March. It will be a fun and action packed day to celebrate community and acknowledge individual achievements. Details will be made available early March.
Further details and event updates will be made available online through Ballinasloe’s Fit Town Facebook Page www.facebook.com/FitTownBalinasloe and @fitballinasloe on Twitter.