Kieran Foley reports
SLIM-SPIRATION has been ongoing in Ballyduff since early January.
Around 55 participants are meeting on a weekly basis as part of this eight week challenge which is a fundraiser for Ballyduff Community Hall.
Each week, following the weekly weigh-in, participants hear from a different guest speaker.

Breda Jones.

Breda Jones.

Last week, the guest speaker was Breda Jones who is one of the Slim-Spiration founders along with Rose Smith, Mary Power and Linda Spillane.
Breda, who works in Stroke Care at University Hospital Waterford, spoke about a range of topics including stroke, heart disease, cholesterol etc.
Previous speakers have included nutritionist Jemma Kehoe and World Kettlebell Champion Cian Foley.
Participants meet on Mondays for the weekly weigh-in and talk, and then take to the track around the local soccer pitch for a brisk walk.
On Wednesday evenings, the meeting point is Kilmeaden Village Centre from where walkers depart.
And on Saturday mornings, participants enjoy a scenic walk around Knockaderry Lake.
As well as raising much needed funds for Ballyduff Community Hall, Slim-Spiration has also become a popular social gathering.
“It’s a great community event,” said participant Ann Finnegan.
“Everyone is very friendly, and we all take to the roads in our yellow jackets even in the rain. Everybody is enjoying the whole social aspect.”
Ann said she finds the speeches very informative and beneficial, and fellow participants Mary Kenny and Helena Power agree.
“It’s a great community event,” said Mary.
“The talks are easy to understand and we really learn a lot,” added Helena.
Around seven or eight men are also involved with Slim-Spiration – something which the organisers are pleased to see given the traditional reluctance of men to get involved in health related initiatives.
Tom Keegan and Eamonn O Leary.

Tom Keegan and Eamonn O Leary.

One local man who is thoroughly enjoying Slim-Spiration is Eamon O’Leary.
He says he enjoys all aspects of Slim-Spiration, but especially the weekly talks on different topics which he says are very informative.
Organiser Mary Power is thrilled with the success of Slim-Spiration.
She explained that 69 people registered on the first night – with numbers reaching 83 on one particular night.
“Our weekly number is now staying at around 55 which is fantastic,” explained Mary.
“We even have people coming that don’t want to lose weight. They just enjoy the social aspect.”
Participants are encouraged to keep a weekly food diary and the weekly weigh-in is confidential.
Each participant pays five euro each week.
“Every penny goes to the hall,” said Mary.
“We have volunteer speakers and we carry out photocopying etc. ourselves.”
Breda Jones added: “Four very knowledgeable and inspirational leaders have given their time and energy to the programme voluntarily. They are all from the area and we are so lucky to have them involved: Jemma Kehoe, nutritionist and radio contributor; Cian Foley, World Kettle Bell Champion; Sandra O’Keeffe, motivator and nutrition specialist; and Jason King, fitness expert and manager “Get Ireland Walking”.
Slim-Spiration is a great example of the vibrant community spirit which exists in the Ballyduff/Kilmeaden area.
1The eight week challenge continues until early March.
So, get your runners and hi-vis jacket and join the group at Slim-Spiration on their next get-together!
Plans are ongoing for a “Fit Club” after this eight week programme so if anyone is interested in getting fit and having fun while doing so contact 087-8548536.
Eamonn Reade and Declan Finn.

Eamonn Reade and Declan Finn.