Pfizer/Irish Times Healthy Town launch hears commuters ‘face toughest fitness test’
Navan residents will be encouraged to improve their wellbeing, says Minister
Broadcaster Hector Ó hEochagáin at the launch of Navan as Healthy Town 2016. Photograph: The Irish Times
People living in commuter towns are often the group hardest hit when it comes to keeping fit, Minister for Housing Damien English has said.
Speaking at the launch of the the Pfizer/Irish Times Healthy Town, which has been chosen as Navan for 2016, Mr English said the selection of his constituency was welcome as it would encourage residents to improve their wellbeing.
The initiative runs over eight weeks and involves a series of organised events, health checks, seminars and workshops. About 1,000 people took part in a walk in Navan’s Blackwater Park to start the initiative last night.
“You spend hours travelling to and from work and when you get home, it’s often late and you just want to spend time with your family,” Mr English said of commuter life. Broadcaster Hector Ó hEochagáin, a Navan native, was in attendance for the event at which a map collating health and wellbeing-related resources in the area was unveiled.“I’m delighted to be called an ambassador for this initiative. I’m really, really proud to be from Navan and as Bob Marley said, this is a movement of the people,” Ó hEochagáin said.
Mr English, who started running in recent years, urged participants to share tips on health, diet and cooking.
“Cooking doesn’t come easy to me and that’s where I need advice. In my job, I get offered tea at every turn and I’m a divil for biscuits,” he said. “When I ran my first half-marathon a few years ago, it nearly killed me but it got my fitness regime going again.”
The event was also addressed by Irish Times editor Kevin O’Sullivan; Pfizer managing director Paul Reid; Meath County Council cathaoirleach Maria Murphy, Navan mayor Cllr Francis Deane and Healthy Ireland’s Malachy Corcoran.