ORGANISERS and participants of Operation Bush4mation were delighted to receive an onsite visit from the RTE Operation Transformation team Saturday the 9th January. The local group was the first to be filmed for the 2016 series and the first community to be awarded a community flag by none other than OT presenter Kathryn Thomas.

Operation Bush4mation Organiser and Dietician Dara Morgan said:

“It’s a huge honour for us and the flag is now proudly flying outside Bush Post-Primary School. The OT team felt that ours was a wonderful example of an established programme which demonstrated excellent team work between different partners and volunteers within our community and which could help to inspire other newly set-up groups all around Ireland’.

“We became aware that they would be visiting us on the previous Tuesday the 5th January, the day after we launched this year’s programme, so we had a very busy few days getting our programme up and running whilst also preparing for filming on Saturday. We were blown away that our programme was selected by Operation Transformation team to film bearing in mind the huge numbers of groups up and running all around the country’.

Though they had applied last year to be considered for the flag according to Dara the news of their selection was a total surprise,

“We submitted an application form in November via the Irish Independent, informing the team about our group but didn’t think too much more about it and honestly, never expected that we would be selected’.

“The visit was very exciting. Normally Saturday is our rest day each week so we had to ask our participants to come along on Saturday to part-take in some classes in the gym and the track and to go on a mountain walk to showcase what our programme is all about. They were so generous in their response and were up for a bit of fun and games with the crew. They did us proud and their energy and enthusiasm on the day was exceptional’.

“Kathryn Thomas was so lovely and down-to-earth and had so much time for all the children who attended and their parents. She posed for countless photos on the day and signed plenty of autographs for the children. She also got really stuck in and took part in some of the classes on the day, which really added to the fun on the day”.

Operation Bush4mation was established in 2014 and is in its third year this year having started on the 4th January 2016. It’s a joint initiative between Bush Post-Primary School and Glenmore AC and came about when Kevin Joyce, Principal of BPP and Rose White, Chairperson of Glenmore AC decided to come up with a fundraising idea that the surrounding community could also benefit from. Glenmore AC already had a Fit4Life group and saw this as a great opportunity to take things to the next level and to throw the net wider in terms of offering friendly forms of exercise to the community at large.

Operation Bush4mation is a 6-week healthy lifestyle initiative, which aims to get people out, meeting friends and exercising in a fun way and in a safe environment on the dark, winter’s nights. The programme offers up to 12 activities over the course of each week. Some of the activities on offer include including 0-5K and 5-10K programmes on the track, Zumba, Yoga, Pilates along with some gym-based circuits-style classes such as Core n More, Fitness Infusion and Total Body Conditioning.

In addition to this, we also offer an early Sunday morning, guided walk in a different location each week in the beautiful mountain and coastal locations along the peninsula. This year we have also introduced a weekly nutrition workshop, delivered by Dietitian, Dara Morgan on a range of nutrition topics to help bust some of the myths on this very controversial subject. The 6-week programme offers incredible value for money, costing just €60.

Central to the success of Operation Bush4mation is teamwork and a superb partnership between Glenmore AC and Bush PP School. Volunteers Irene Brady, Dara Morgan and Vicky Leahy work closely with Kevin and Rose to coordinate the programme. We have a panel of high quality tutors, sourced through Glenmore AC, Bush PPS and the local community who are generously giving their time and expertise free of charge.

Instructors/coaches include Eramine Rice, Ellen O’Connor, Aisling Burke, Stephen O’Connor, Kenneth McBride, Fiona Finan, Kinga Byrne, Paul Savage, Marie Gallagher, Fionne Lynch, Shane Lynch, Paul Malone, Michael Rogers, Kevin O’Loughlin, Maria Duffy and Florence Gillen. We have many more volunteers lending a hand in registration duties, car park supervision, opening and closing, care taking, leading weekend walks, contacting participants and without whom the programme couldn’t run so smoothly.

The other key elements to the success of Operation Bush4mation are the excellent facilities that are at our disposal and most importantly our participants who turn up day in day out, week in week out for the 6 weeks.

Some quotes from our participants - “It’s just great to get out of the house” , “I’m trying classes I wouldn’t have dreamt of trying before” “I’m really enjoying the camaraderie between all the participants and that we’re all motivating each other”

If you are interested in taking part in Operation Bush4mation it is not too late to register as programme running until 12th February 2016 or if not this year, maybe think of us for 2017