‘If it rekindles a love of exercise in people then our job is done’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THE six-week run of Park Fit and Park Yoga events in Corkagh Park got off to a strong start last week, with over 150 people attending each event.

Park Fit is held every Tuesday, and is led by Ciaran Murray of Ci-Fit, while Park Yoga is held every Thursday and is led by the Sacred Space Healing Centre, and the events are now in their second year.

SDCC Park Fit 2020 27 of 59 Photo Ben Ryan 1

Enjoying the Park Fit and Park Yoga events in Corkagh Park

Last summer, the South Dublin County Sports Partnership (SDCSP) held the twice weekly events over the course of six weeks, and while there was uncertainty around whether they could do it again this summer as a result of the pandemic, they managed to organise the events and received high demand for places.

“Last week was excellent,” Ian Farrell, Community Sports Officer for SDCSP, told The Echo. “Everyone was delighted to be back in a park and to be in a group of people, even though there was a two-metre distance between people.

“We had a complete mix of people, from people who are complete beginners to people who exercise regularly.

“What we have them doing is stationary body-weight exercise, but it’s not too intense and it’s suitable for all fitness levels.”

The free events have a capacity of 200 participants and places have to be booked in advance on Eventbrite, and the uptake has been significant – with the next few sessions being fully booked.

SDCC Park Fit 2020 48 of 59 Photo Ben Ryan 1

At the Park Fit in Corkagh Park Photos by Ben Ryan

Explaining the rationale behind the events, Ian said: “We just want to get more people outdoors, to embrace the parks that we have, and to be more physically active within the community of South Dublin County.

“We ran it again this year based on the positive feedback from last year, and engagement from members of the community who wouldn’t know about the work of the sports partnership.

“We want to showcase that we’re here for the community, and that we do a wide variety of programmes.”

The outdoor fitness events also receive funding support from Dublin Outdoors, and Ian is hopeful that the classes will make a difference to the participants, and their engagement in exercise going forward.

“The way we see it is, if a few people get something out of it and it rekindles a love of exercise and getting outside, then our job is done,” he said.

Park Fit and Park Yoga is being held every week at the St John’s entrance of Corkagh Park up to and including August 27. Participants must be aged 18 and upwards, and children should not to be brought to the event.

Advanced booking is definitely required, but people can be added to a cancellations list for events that are already fully booked, at www.tinyurl.com/ParkFitParkYoga.

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