THERE are few benefits from the world-wide Covid pandemic apart from the welcome sight of so many people re-acquainting themselves with outdoor exercise.
Whether it’s a simple walk, a fun run, a gentle cycle, a dip in the sea or the more serious side of athletics, cycling and swimming, people of all ages, shapes and sizes are taking to the roads and paths.
Balanced with a healthy diet, the benefits of putting on the runners and heading out, no matter what the distance or time involved, are there to be enjoyed.
Not only is it good for the body, but the mind also as a good friend of mine, Jim Sargent, a Dub exiled in the south-east (Fethard-on-Sea not Belgooly) explained.
He calls it his ‘solvitur ambulando’ hour, a Latin phrased translated to mean ‘to resolve by walking’.
And as Jim says once you’re not answering back or talking to yourself while out on the highways and byways then there’ll be no need to summon the men in white coats!
Recently, nearly 1,300 people participated in the Cork European Week of Sport, organised by Cork Sports Partnership (CSP), in conjunction with a number of local clubs and organisations.
In all some 20 flagship events were staged to celebrate and promote being active, highlighting the greater awareness within the general public in these challenging times.
CSP and local event organisers carefully planned events throughout the city and county to ensure public health guidelines were followed and families could enjoy a fun-filled week in a safe environment without the risk of contracting Covid.
All the events were free and they included orienteering, walking, athletics, swimming, family fun fitness and play days as well as a number of online sessions provided for all the family.
The week kicked off with Family Orienteering in the Glen River Valley Park on the north side of the city with 130 participants taking part in allocated timeslots across the evening.
This was one of five socially-distanced orienteering events to take place throughout the week under the guidance of Bishopstown Orienteering Club.
Over 540 people took part across the series with the other events taking place in Tramore Valley Park, Ballincollig Regional Park, Little Island and Rostellan Woods in the east of the county with views of Cobh and the Whitegate Refinery.
Athletics featured prominently throughout the week with West Muskerry AC and Carrigaline AC both organising athletics’ taster sessions for over 130 children in their localities.
This was followed by a sprints and speed webinar organised by Cork Athletics Development Officer, Craig Harrington, in conjunction with Athletics Ireland, the national governing body for track-and-field.
The online workshop focused on improving sprinting and speed through the off-season with 110 coaches and athletes registering to link up.
CSP also organised a number of other online workshops and online activity sessions such as a Sports Inclusion & Disability Awareness Webinar, as well new Men on the Move and Women on the Move taster sessions as part of CSP’s Active Communities pillar with 164 registered participants across the three sessions.
The annual Cork Rebel Ramble was held on National Walking Day in conjunction with Kanturk Hillwalkers.
This year, the event took place on the Claragh Mountain in Millstreet with 54 people registering to take part in the guided walks.
To adhere to social-distancing guidelines, participants headed off at staggered start times in small groups led by an experienced guide along the 10km loop.
Speaking about the recent events, Sport and Marketing Manager at Cork Sports Partnership, Maurice O’Sullivan, said they were thrilled with the response.
“We were delighted to be able to coordinate such a variety of events as part of this year’s European Week of Sport celebration.
“To see so many people out enjoying themselves while being physically active was fantastic to see.