Launch of Mayo Fit Stick Walking Trails enhances accessibility and inclusivity
MAYO County Council has announced the highly anticipated launch of Fit Stick Walking Trails, a series of short walking trails thoughtfully designed to cater to individuals with mobility challenges and support those on their journey to recovery from illness or injury.
This fantastic initiative, made possible through funding by the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme, aims to provide accessible outdoor spaces that are inclusive of people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels.
Fit stick trails are tailored to accommodate individuals with buggies, wheelchair users, children with balance bikes, and those utilising various other mobility aids.
The trails are carefully planned routes that offer a safe and enjoyable walking experience for individuals of all abilities. The trails incorporate rest areas and exercise stations at regular intervals, allowing participants to take breaks, relax and appreciate the surrounding natural beauty.
The trails were developed in partnership with local community groups.
Joanne Grehan, director of services, Mayo County Council, said: “We are thrilled to be part the fit stick trails development throughout the county and delighted to be showcasing the Dugort Trail. The trails are a great addition to any communities, providing the opportunity for everyone to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of the outdoors.”
The trails have been meticulously planned to ensure a safe and enjoyable walking experience for individuals of all abilities. They incorporate carefully mapped routes that showcase the natural beauty of Mayo, offering participants an opportunity to engage with nature and reap the physical and mental health benefits of outdoor activity.
To further enhance the overall experience, the trails feature rest areas and exercise stations at regular intervals, enabling participants to take breaks, relax and rejuvenate.
The development of the trails was a collaborative effort, with Mayo County Council partnering with local community groups. This collaborative approach ensured that the trails were designed to meet the specific needs and preferences of the community, creating a sense of ownership and pride among residents.
Anna O'Connor, Mayo County Council, tourism and recreation officer, commented: “We are delighted with the success of the fit stick trails programme throughout the county and the support we have received from all communities in designing the trails.”
Mayo Sports Partnership, through their activator walking with poles programme, have further empowered individuals across the county to participate in these trails, promoting physical activity and fostering inclusivity through sports and recreation initiatives.
Their commitment to encouraging active lifestyles for everyone aligns perfectly with the vision of the fit stick trails. Slaintecare Healthy Communities Seed Funding was provided to support the roll-out of the programmes in the area.
The Department of Health funded the role of Slaintecare Healthy Communities local development officer hosted by the community section of Mayo Council, to support the development of health and wellbeing projects and initiative.
The trails showcase the collaborate approach, with the council bringing together the expertise of tourism recreation and amenities, local municipal districts, Mayo Sports Partnership, HSE, and community partners. Additionally, Mayo County Council Healthy Libraries will commencing a pilot for the rental of poles, to facilitate access for all to the programmes.
To mark this momentous occasion, Minister Hildegarde Naughton will be launching the Mayo Fit Stick Trails on June 22 at 2.30 p.m. at the Dugort trail in Achill. This launch event represents a significant milestone in Mayo County Council's journey toward promoting a healthier and more inclusive community.
Community representatives and the public are invited to the celebrations.
For more information about, Slaintecare Healthy Communities, the Fit Stick Walking Trails and other inclusive initiatives by Mayo County Council, visit https://www.mayo.ie/.