New assault course is launched in Ballyhoura countryside

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

Irish Defence Force members from the 12th Battalion, Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick do a demonstration at the Ballyhoura Trim Trail
KEEP-fit fanatics or those just hoping to shed a few excess pounds can avail of the use of a new 19-piece obstacle course while drinking in the beautiful surroundings of the Ballyhoura countryside.

KEEP-fit fanatics or those just hoping to shed a few excess pounds can avail of the use of a new 19-piece obstacle course while drinking in the beautiful surroundings of the Ballyhoura countryside.

The Ballyhoura Trim Trail has been re-launched at its new location near Ardpatrick, beside the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Centre.

The pieces of equipment which have been put in place were relocated from a more remote location on the mountain to this new location at the mountain bike centre so that it will be more accessible to the general public and complement the facilities and amenities already in place for activities on the mountain.

The launch involved members of the Irish Defence Forces from the 12th Battalion in Sarsfield Barracks, Limerick doing a demonstration at the site using the equipment for their physical training. Attendees at the launch were very impressed by the 36 cadets’ performance on the equipment and got a good sense of the usefulness of the equipment for training purposes.

“The trail was originally above on top of the mountain but it was hard to find it,” explained Tom Blackburn, recreation officer with Ballyhoura Failte.

“The equipment is already being used on a regular basis by members of the public for personal, recreational or exercise purposes and is also used by sports teams/clubs for fitness training sessions. Therefore, it is a facility which can be used by people of a variety of ability levels who are interested in this kind of cross-training exercise activity,” Tom continued.

The equipment includes a ladder walk, parallel bars, and hurdles which allow for press ups, leapfrogs, sip ups and chins ups.

“For example, there are eight or 10 inch poles stuck in the ground so you can do leapfrogs. They increase in height as you go along. There is a ladder walk which includes a high frame and you lift yourself across, walking your hands across the rungs of wood,” Tom explained. Michael Herlihy from Ballyhoura Development spoke about how the equipment is designed for teenagers and adults of all levels of ability.

Ben O’Sullivan of Ballyhoura Heritage and Environment spoke about the importance of attracting groups to the region and being able to facilitate them with such a wide variety of facilities.

John Galvin of Coillte who performed the official cutting of the tape said that Coillte was very happy to continue to be involved in helping to facilitate and promote these activities in Coillte forestry and hoped to see the facilities being put to good use in the near future.

The facility is open and free to use to members of the general public.

If someone wants to bring their sports team or exercise group to use the facility and is unsure of the location of the centre, they should contact the main Ballyhoura office in Kilfinane on (063) 91300. Tom Blackburn will be able to advise on the types of activities which are possible on the equipment.

There are instruction cards beside each piece of equipment to show how to use them. See the www.VisitBallyhoura.com website for pictures and further details.