Operation Transformation and Sport Ireland gets the country moving with most ever nationwide walks this Saturday

Thousands of people across Ireland are set to take part in the biggest ever RTÉ Operation Transformation Sport Ireland Nationwide Walks event this weekend at more than 70 venues across 26 counties.

With twenty new walks, 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 record this time around.

The walks are open to all - young and old, experienced walkers and those looking to jump-start their January health kick - and will take place at venues throughout the country from 9.30am on Saturday 7 January, 2017. To find your nearest walk, click here

The event is bigger and better this year to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Operation Transformation, sponsored by safefood, and to get as many people as possible across Ireland out and walking.

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."

Operation Transformation will be filming in various locations and we’re inviting you to come along and join this year’s leaders – Chris, Marie, Maireád, Seán and Yvonne - at their home walks.

See the table below for further details of venues and times and then simply turn up on the day with comfortable clothing and your runners on. For further information on walks in your area visit: https://ot.rte.ie/events/nationwide-walks/

Our five leaders will be spearheading walks in their local areas:

  1. Chris Mc Elligott and Dr Eddie Murphy at Dunshaughlin Community Centre, Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath (9:30am)
  2. Marie Grace and Karl Henry at Knockane GAA Club, Limerick (9:30am)
  3. Maireád Redmond and Aoife Hearne at New Ross Town park, New Ross, Co. Wexford (9:30am)
  4. Seán Daly and Dr Ciara Kelly at the Grand Canal. Meet at Lucan Sarsfields GAA club (10:00am)
  5. Yvonne Keenan-Ross and Kathryn Thomas at Carlingford / Omeath greenway. Meet at Carlingford marina (9:30am)


*Photographers are welcome to attend events*
*Please note that, due to inclement weather conditions, venues and times may be subject to change*
For further information, contact Sarah Neville, RTÉ TV Press Officer on 01 2082872, 087 9800561 or by email