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The O'Halloran family from Kilkishen are one of two Clare teams vying for the title of Ireland's Fittest Family on RTÉ One TV.

Banner teams strive for title of Ireland’s fittest family

TWO ultra-fit Clare families will put their strength and stamina to the test on national television over the coming weeks in a bid to be crowned Ireland’s Fittest Family.

The hit TV show, which already features Clare man and Wexford hurling boss, Davy Fitzgerald, will see the Kulczynski family from Ennis and the O’Halloran family from Newpark, Kilkishen go through extreme endurance challenges in settings from ski slopes to bogs.

Over the course of the series, which started last Sunday on RTÉ One, a total of 16 families will be whittled down to four for a gruelling final contest, from which only one winning team can emerge.

With highly impressive fitness credentials, the Kulczynski family are hotly tipped to stay in contention until the very end.

Elite junior triathlete, Sabian has multiple national titles in triathlons, aquathons and duathlons and represents Ireland in competitions across Europe. He is a swimmer, mountain biker, road biker and used to run cross country. The 18-year-old built his own gym out of pallets, during lockdown, and has a swimming pool in the back garden to keep up his training.

His brother Luca is an Enduromountain biker, adrenaline junky and skateboarder. During lockdown, he started running. The 15-year-old is described as a “science lunatic” by his family. His motto is “if it don’t burn it goes bang!”.

Mum Nicola is a yoga and pilates enthusiast. She takes part in a range of fitness programmes and also likes to run, hike, swim and cycle.

Dad Leroy is originally from England. Despite never running in his life, he started training for obstacle races last September. He now runs a minimum of 40km a week and has worked as a cycling instructor.

The O’Hallorans from Kilkishen are another force to be reckoned with and true all-rounders in the sports and fitness stakes.

Dad James is a plumber. He played inter-county hurling and soccer and still plays five-a-side soccer to maintain his fitness. He may have some scores to settle with Davy Fitzgerald, as he once played against him in a county hurling final and lost.

Daughter Leanne works in childcare. Horse riding is the 18-year-old’s passion and she won the title of Munster’s Young Leading Rider. She played camogie and football growing up but horse riding has since taken over.

Her sister Clodagh works as a teacher. The 24-year-old currently plays rugby with UL Bohs and the Munster Womens team. She goes to the gym a lot and likes to keep fit and strong. Before she started her career in rugby, Clodagh played camogie for her Clare. She is the self-proclamined “superstar of the family”.

Their brother Jamie (23) works as a plumber alongside his dad. He played a lot of soccer and hurling but now keeps fit by working out in the gym. He also has started training in Muay Thai, also known as ‘Thai boxing’.

Ireland’s Fittest Family is hosted Mairead Ronan. In addition to Davy Fitzgerald, the coaching team is made up of Anna Geary, Derval O’Rourke, and Donncha O’Callaghan.

Ireland’s Fittest Family airs on Sunday nights at 6.30pm on RTÉ One, and was filmed over the course of three weeks in August at the new hub at Hell & Back in Kilruddery, County Wicklow.

About Fiona McGarry

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Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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