A 'Fit Farmers' programme which aims to steer South Roscommon farmers toward healthier lifestyles is one of the features of the Operation Transformation initiative in Moore which was launched at the community hall on Monday evening.
Coordinated by nurse Laura Tully, of the Moore Movers group, the annual initiative consists of a series of events to help people to become more active, make healthier choices, and work towards living longer and preventing diseases.
One of the big community events is the annual Operation Transformation walk which takes place at Padraig Pearses GAA club this Saturday at 11am. More than 100 people participated in the walk last year, and it's hoped there will be a similar turnout this time around.
Moore Operation Transformation was launched with a 'community health fair' on Monday. The Irish Heart Foundation provided free Heart Health checks at Moore hall in Ballydangan from 1pm to 6pm, while the official launch event was held in the hall from 7pm.
The evening event, which took place after this article went to press, was due to feature an appearance by the McDonald family from Laois. The McDonalds were finalists in the RTE series 'Ireland's Fittest Family', during which they were mentored by Wexford hurling boss Davy Fitzgerald.
Also scheduled to take part in the launch were representatives of the Roscommon Library Bus speaking about the Healthy Ireland initiative, Roscommon Sports Partnership, the South Roscommon Cycling Club, and the Marie Keating Foundation, which was giving a talk on ways of reducing our cancer risk.
Laura was also planning to announce the identity of the six 'community leaders' who had been selected after submitting applications outlining why they should be chosen for the roles.
"The community leaders are a bit like the leaders on the (Operation Transformation) TV show but without the lycra and the public weigh-ins," explained Laura.
She said she received numerous applications, many of which outlined the 'hidden struggles' people face when dealing with issues like grief and loneliness.
"Some of the people who applied are working mothers, some are approaching retirement, and some are living alone."
Laura designed the 'Fit Farmers' programme because their lifestyle means farmers can be susceptible to problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and mental health challenges.
Twenty places were created on the programme, which is supported with funding from Roscommon Sports Partnership, and Laura visited the local Irish Farmers' Association group to promote it.
Laura said there was "good interest" in the six-week programme which would focus on nutrition, strength, fitness, wellness and mental health support.
"It will be about trying to get the waistlines down, boosting the mood, and trying to develop healthier habits. And the ages of people who expressed interest range from the early 40s up to the late 70s, which is great to see."
Laura said Moore Operation Transformation was not restricted to people in Moore, with people from surrounding areas often taking part.
The benefits the programme can bring were brought home to her on Christmas Day, when she was delighted to receive a text of gratitude from a former participant who had lost three stone and said it transformed his lifestyle for the better.
* Regular updates on Moore Operation Transformation 2019 can be found on the 'Moore Movers' Facebook page.