Fit4Life Interview Series: West Waterford Athletics Club
Why did you start Fit4Life in West Waterford?
As a club we have always been inclusive and diverse. It wasn’t a conscious decision to start a specific Fit4Life group as everyone has always been welcomed to join us!
When did you start?
Structured training began in 2015 and was immediately popular with approx. 50 athletes taking part in the initial groups.
How do you organize Fit4Life sessions?
All club sessions are organized in the same way and include a group warm up, running drills, running session and a cool down. We would like everyone to learn how to train effectively from the moment they join us.
Do you have any special sessions or are you planning for any special sessions that enriches the experience of the members?
Ladies only S&C – aimed at midlife women with the focus on building bone density and muscle power.
Sports Conditioning sessions in the lead up to races to put more into athletes than it takes out and keep everyone on the road.
Run Specific Club circuits outside of peak race season
In the past we have had sessions as diverse as CBT for sports to Sports Nutrition to marathon workshops to biomechanics/running technique coaching.
Have you any standout memories for Fit4Life in West Waterford?
In 2016 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising we at West Waterford AC undertook our own ‘100’ challenge. Could we get 100 West Waterford AC club athletes compete at the Dublin City Marathon on 30th October 2016. The answer is Yes, we Can!
Not only were we the largest club team on the day but the largest team ever to participate in the history of the event.
What started as a germ of an idea took on legs of its own. From weekly training sessions to organized group long runs it seems at times that the entire town has spent the summer running and preparing for this event.
What are the benefits of running Fit4Life in your club/community?
Programs such as
• 0 to 5k – introduction to running
• Desk to 5k lunchtime program to provide increased opportunities to those who are time poor.
• ‘Mum on the Move’ program for parents of school going children. This group met at the school gate and gave many athletes their first taste of running
• ‘Club on the move’ whereby we have teamed up with our local GAA club who identified the need for more active participation from ex-players / coaches / committee members/ parents who are actively involved in the club but rarely get the chance to improve their own fitness as they are busy training others.
This has increased the social fabric of the club and the camaraderie of the community as well as increasing fitness. In short, all these groups make an impact on the communities they serve.
The graduates of these programmes joined our social running group ‘Lets Run’.
What advice would you give any club or individuals interested in participating or starting Fit4Life?
Running is an activity that we can all participate in and enjoy, at our own level. For all clubs rooted in the community having running groups of all levels is a fantastic opportunity to allow all members of the local community to get involved.
For mre information about West Waterford AC Fit4 Life see here: West Waterford AC