New social walking group helping to change mindsets

By Mary Dennehy

A TALLAGHT mother of twin boys is behind a new social walking group, which aims to promote physical and mental fitness alongside community connections.

Springfield resident Emma Jane Donnelly established walkNtalk in November.

WalknTalk 02 1

Members of the walkNtalk group ready to set off from Kilnamanagh in December

However, due to current restrictions, the group enjoyed only a few walk and talks before an esacalation of measures to manage the spread of Covid-19 were introduced.

Despite these new restrictions, the walkNtalk Ireland group is continuing on its mission to stay active and connected, as they stay linked-in online until they can meet again.

Speaking with The Echo this week, Emma Jane said: “The talk aspect is now on our [group] Facebook page and each week I set challenges for people to do individually.

“This week’s challenge is 40,000 steps over five consecutive days.”

Emma Jane stressed that despite people walking on their own, being part of a communal challange helps them to feel connected and part of a group.

“Currently walkNtalk is a motivational platform”, she said.

“It’s getting people talking and helping to change mindsets from the negative mindset of Covid to a more positive outlook.

“People also feel that they are part of a group, and that connection is important.”

She added: “I go for a walk after bringing my boys to school and I felt that the people I was meeting were keen to have a chat.

“This is where the idea for walkNtalk came from.”

Emma Jane hopes that once restrictions are lifted that walkNtalk can offer a combination of morning and evening walks, around six times a week.

The walks, which are based locally, are mapped and will take in a route of 5km.

According to Emma Jane, the group started life as walkNtalk Tallaght but after a second group started in Bray, the name has been changed to walkNtalk Ireland.

For further information on walkNtalk Ireland, which is open to men and women, visit the WalkNtalkireland Facebook page.

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