Frank Greally Athletics Ireland Ambassador for The Daily Mile and former editor of Irish Runner, has started out on ‘Gratitude Road’ – which will see him walk from Ballyhaunis to the Coombe Hospital in Dublin via the Royal Canal from yesterday, September 7th to September 19th.
Athletics Ireland and Waterways Ireland are supporting ‘Gratitude Road’ as Greally seeks to highlight the importance of looking after our mental and physical health by undertaking the more than 200km walk.
The strategic partnership between Athletics Ireland and Waterways Ireland has been promoting physical activity on the many trails and facilities across the Waterways Ireland system, and this journey will further highlight the importance of staying active as part of a healthy lifestyle.
As part of Gratitude Road, Greally will be providing registered schools of ‘The Daily Mile’ along the route with their activity flags, as part of his role as an ambassador for ‘The Daily Mile’.
“I am delighted to be in a position to take on this journey,” said Greally.
“It is something I’ve been planning for some time and it great to have both Athletics Ireland and Waterways Ireland support me as I make my way back to Dublin from my hometown of Ballyhaunis.”
“There is a deep and primal reason too for me making this walk on Gratitude Road. I am dedicating it to the memory of my brother Gerard who died when I was six- a few days after he was born at home.”
“Gerard’s passing had a profound effect on me for many years until I finally found professional help to guide me to peace and closure of Gerard’s passing- something I am deeply grateful for.”
“I had problems for many years with the twin demons of depression and alcohol, but with the help of family, friends and medical professionals, I have for almost 20 years now found a Recovery Road that has led me to Gratitude Road and now this walk.”
“My hope is that my journey along Gratitude Road will open the conversation for others around mental health and wellbeing. Exercise has always been a terrific escape for so many people in dealing with life’s challenges, and I want others to know that something as simple as a short walk or jog on your own or with a friend can have such a positive effect on your mental health.”
Athletics Ireland are encouraging everyone to get behind and support Frank by getting out for their own 2k-a-day for #MIND&BODY, and to share their own personal stories of how exercise has helped in improving their overall health and wellbeing.
“Waterways Ireland are delighted to support Frank on his journey over the next few weeks,” said Sharon Lavin, Head of Marketing and Communications, Waterways Ireland.
“Exercise plays such an important role in our mental health and wellbeing and we are delighted that Frank will be taking in some of the Royal Canal Greenway before it launches later this year.”
“It will be the latest in a range of greenway options available in Ireland. It will be the longest of its kind, stretching for 130km from Maynooth to Longford Town and Cloondara alongside the tranquil and historic Royal Canal.”
Waterways Ireland has seen a huge increase in the number of recreational and domestic tourist users on and along all the waterways in recent months. The provision of the Blueway and Greenway trails have created even more opportunities for people to try new recreational activities. Waterways Ireland and Athletics Ireland look forward to supporting Frank in promoting the health and well-being and social opportunities that are available in the great outdoors.