Approximately 100 Weight Watchers members from around the county will walk the Clare coast in an event the organiser hopes will become an annual charity fundraiser.
Weight Watchers leader Kathleen Shannon is behind the walk which will take participants from Liscannor to Doolin along the Cliff walk.
“If it is a success I would like it to become an annual event for charity,” she said.
“This is the dummy run to see how it will go. I want to make it a charity event for Clare next year and if that goes well I would like it to become an all-Ireland fundraiser for people to raise money for charities in their own area,” she added.
This year’s event is not raising money for charity but is a non-for-profit event, according to Ms Shannon.
“This year it is just for fun. People will pay for the bus and the meal after but that is it. The total distance of the walk is 16km but we will have a break for an hour at the Cliffs of Moher and if people wish they can have a picnic there or enter the visitor centre itself. Then we continue from the Cliffs of Moher to Doolin. It will be a 12-hour day including travel, the walk itself and then the meal afterwards, it is a day out really,” she explained.
Ms Shannon outlined that she contacted Weight Watchers head quarters in Ireland about the idea and “they were very supportive of it.”
“This is really meant to be a fun event and anyone coming should bring an open mind and a bag full of laughter. People can expect friendship, fresh air, fantastic views and great company from the walk, finished off on return with a meal in the Temple Gate Hotel. What more can someone ask for from a Saturday?,” she said.
The event is being held in conjunction with The Clare Champion which is sponsoring T-shirts for walkers on the day.
“I have had great support from John and Shelly Galvin and from my niece Sarah Ryan,” explained Ms Shannon.
John Galvin, Managing Director of The Clare Champion, explained why the newspaper got behind the event.
“The coastal walk is a great amenity and we are very lucky to have it. It is really important that as well as being a tourist attraction that people here in Clare also use it. We were delighted to get involved in the Weight Watchers Liscannor to Doolin Walk because it encourages people to get out in the fresh air, to increase their fitness and to appreciate the beautiful coastline we have here,” he said.
Mr and Mrs Galvin will also take part in the walk on the day.
Ms Shannon has been a Weight Watchers leader for 13 years after losing four stone with the organisation in 2001. She led her first class in Gort two weeks after finishing her training and now holds classes in Treacy’s West County Hotel in Ennis, Kilrush Community Centre, The Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis and in Shannon.
The walk is open to all Weight Watchers members and will take place on Saturday, August 9 with a bus leaving from the Temple Gate Hotel at 10.30am. To book a place contact Kathleen on 087 6348299 or email her on Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org.