Limerick's Hynes are full of beans for the fittest family challenge

Aine Fitzgerald


Aine Fitzgerald

Tony Hynes (51), third from left, his son Adam (17) his daughter Leeayn (23) and son Jamie (27) from Knockainey, who star on Ireland's Fittest Family which airs this Sunday evening on RTE One

Tony Hynes (51), third from left, his son Adam (17) his daughter Leeayn (23) and son Jamie (27) from Knockainey, who star on Ireland's Fittest Family which airs this Sunday evening on RTE One

A LIMERICK father, his daughter and two sons are among 12 mega-energetic families set to  compete against each other to win the coveted title of Ireland’s Fittest Family.

The Hynes family from Knockainey will  star in a new series of the popular show starting on RTÉ One this Sunday 6.30pm.

Tony Hynes, 51, his daughter Leeayn, 23, and his two sons Jamie, 27, and Adam, 17, will be up against five other families in the gruelling tunnel challenge in episode one of series five. The triumphant family who win the series will walk away with not only the coveted title but also €15,000 in prize money.

This year Ireland’s Fittest Family has a coaching line-up that includes series four winner Anna Geary, GAA legend Davy Fitzgerald, returning hero Derval O’Rourke and first time Fittest Family coach and rugby legend Donncha O’Callaghan.

“The one thing that really stands out for me this year is the strength of the girls; some of the girls in the competition are the strongest members of their family. The lads will have to up their game,” said Davy Fitz.

Tony Hynes works for Iarnród Éireann. He used to be an all-rounder back in the day when he played soccer, rugby and rowed. More recently, Tony took up taekwondo for which he has a black belt. He stays fit by jogging.

Jamie works for Healthcare21, a company which service and decontaminate medical equipment across the country. In his spare time, Jamie likes to play soccer and golf and he also goes to the gym regularly.

Leeayn works in retail. She played basketball growing up and keeps active. Leeayn sees herself as the weakest in the family and had to be convinced by her dad and brothers to take part.

Adam is starting sixth year in secondary school. He is the sportiest of the family and plays soccer for Knockainey FC.

Like his dad, he has a black belt in taekwondo. He is a keen golfer too and has a big fear of going underwater.

New tougher locations have been added to the series, which test all aspects of fitness, starting with Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven County Cork.

Dark damp underground tunnels terrify the families in the very first event, and it doesn’t get any easier in the eliminator, which the coaches believe to be the toughest course ever featured on the series.

Performance consultant and referee Joe O’Connor said: “Each year the stakes get higher, and this year definitely presents the toughest physical challenges that we have seen to date.

Some FittestFamily hero events like Hanging Tough will return, but new events which see the families tested in ways we haven’t seen before will feature in every episode.”

Discussing his upcoming role on the show former Munster star  O’Callaghan said: “After watching it at home for years I’m dying to get stuck into Ireland’s Fittest Family.

“I’m not a coach but I’ve been a member of a family for 38 years so I’ve plenty of experience!

“And I’m looking forward to playing a few mind games with Davy Fitz!"

Ireland's Fittest Family is presented by Mairead Ronan.