The launch of the Barrow Way Walk took place on the Horse Bridge in Athy, Co Kildare.
In attendance were representatives from Waterways Ireland, Sport Ireland, Get Ireland Walking, Carlow, Laois and Kildare County Councils respectively.
The key is in the name of the Barrow Way Walk, as in its essence it is a free event created to facilitate a large walk along the River Barrow in three counties simultaneously.
The event is the brain child of Waterways Ireland and Get Ireland Walking who conceptualised the idea on the back of the Waterways for Health initiative.
In a brief summation, Waterways for Health is a programme designed to help and encourage participants in rehabilitation services to engage in gentle exercise in and around Green and Blue spaces. With the emphasis placed on showing participants how to utilise the incredible scenery that Ireland is blessed to have in order to better their mental and physical health. The benefits seen and vocalised by participants were vast and instantaneous, and so, in a bid to engage with as many people and as many demographics as possible, the Barrow Way Walk was born.
After linking in with the identified county’s Local Sports Partnerships; Carlow SP, Laois SP and Kildare SP, it was decided that the best time to host this event would be during the European Week of Sport, and, with the backing of Sport Ireland, it was confirmed that 29 September 2019 would be the date that this mass participation event would take place.
In order to accommodate all levels of fitness, mobility and time constraints, there are approximately 5km / 10km / 18km routes available within each county. The advantage of these walks is that each route has a meeting point and time where a bus will collect participants and ferry them to the start point of their respective walk. Each person then simply walks back to their car, at their own pace with a walk leader, first aid support and sweeper on every route.
There will also be a hydration station present before and after the walks to encourage a 'leave no trace' practice - NB there will be no plastic bottles available at any of the events.
Further to this, each registered participant will be given a draw-string bag with some goodies provided by the Local Sports Partnerships.
Due to this, the bus service and the provision of tea/coffee after the event, it is essential that each participant registers on www.barrowwaywalk.ie before the event as non-registered participants may not be catered for.
For more information on this event please see Carlow / Laois / Kildare Sports Partnerships’ social media platforms or visit; www.barrowwaywalk.ie
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