Kathryn Thomas will visit Carlingford tomorrow as Operation Transformation aims to set a record for synchronised walks this weekend.
Thousands are set to take part at more than 70 venues across 26 counties, and the RTE presenter is gearing up to join local leader, Yvonne Keenan-Ross, for the Louth leg.
With twenty new walks added to the roster, this year's event - which has been organised in conjunction with Sport Ireland and the Local Sports Partnerships - is the biggest in the show's ten year history. More than 19,000 people took part in last year's Nationwide Walks and organisers are hoping to smash that standard.
Operation Transformation Fitness expert Karl Henry said: "Walking is the easiest and most accessible exercise there is. It's great for all levels of fitness and gets the heart pumping. Our Nationwide Walks are an excellent opportunity to get your 2017 off to a great start and to support our five new leaders. It's totally free and walkers can take it at their own pace - but remember if you're not panting, you're not working hard enough."
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD who will be taking part in the walk in Knockane, Co. Limerick commented on the nationwide event: “I would encourage everyone to participate in their local walk this Saturday. Recreational walking provides an accessible, low impact form of exercise and is suitable for all ages regardless of fitness levels. The annual Sport Ireland Operation Transformation nationwide walks are a very important event in the promotion of healthy living and the pursuit of exercise.”
John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland said: "Participation in physical activity is on the increase and recreational walking is hugely popular. The Irish Sport Monitor Annual Report highlighted recreational walking remains the most popular form of physical activity with 2.3 million participating weekly. Every year, thousands of people join our Local Sports Partnerships for the Nationwide Walks and the support they give each other, and the Operation Transformation leaders is fantastic."
Tomorrow’s Louth section takes place at the Omeath greenway and will depart from Carlingford marina at 9.30am.