Una is a role model for all in the community
Una Coates walkin in Corkagh Park

Una is a role model for all in the community

A CLONDALKIN woman who is appearing on this year’s Operation Transformation on RTÉ says that she hopes to be a role model for athletes in Special Olympics Ireland and pave the way for a healthier lifestyle.

39-year-old Una Coates, who lives with her dad in Clondalkin, is the first Special Olympics athlete and person with an intellectual disability to feature on RTE’s Operation Transformation. Una is four weeks into her journey and says it is going well so far as she says she is feeling fitter and healthier.

Una, who is Chairperson of Inclusion Ireland’s Self Advocacy Subcommittee, told The Echo that she hopes that people will be inspired by her journey and start following her in making healthier lifestyle choices as well as showing that her disability will not hold her back.

Una currently trains out of Metro South Bowling Club and Stewarts Care and has been keeping active by taking part in community walks as people have rallied behind her to support her on her operation transformation journey this year.

“I am a big fan of bowling and I also have joined the community walks in Clondalkin,” said Una. “Loads of people have joined me on the walks.

Trish Robinson (sister), Andrew Robinson (nephew), Una Coates (OT online leader/Special Olympics athlete), Seamus Coates (father), Annabelle Robinson (niece)

“During the week I do swimming – I like the water, and I go to the gym.”

Una has been following a food plan from the show that has been made more accessible to her by Special Olympics Ireland and features instructions in a more visual way to make it easier for her and other people with intellectual disabilities to follow.

“I have been preparing meals as well. I am going to try the baked stuff next like banana bread and porridge bread,” she explained.

Una featured on the show last week, which she says was an exciting moment for her and her family to watch.

“I have four sisters – two are in Dublin and two are overseas in America and Australia,” she said. “One of them facetimed me when I was doing my walk for Special Olympics Ireland.”

Una’s motivation has been unfaltering since the beginning of her journey, as she reached a milestone of over 15,000 steps on one of the community walks in Clondalkin this week and has lost nearly half a stone in weight.

“They just announced that I have lost six pounds so far, but it’s not all about that it is about having a healthy life,” said Una.

You can keep up with Una’s journey on Operation Transformation every Wednesday night at 9.30pm or follow her journey online on the website at https://ot.rte.ie/online-leaders/

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