Community fitness with Howling Heart

Posted on: 7th March, 2017

Category: Sport & Fitness

Contributor: West Cork People

Pictured above: Eithne and Kieran (centre) celebrated the launch of their fitness centre with many friends, family and wellwishers.

Howling Heart Fitness in Clonakilty is located at the top of McCurtain Hill on the site of the old railway line. These days the first stop at this platform is fitness – something that strength and conditioning instructors Eithne Harte and Kieran Howlin are keen to point out also involves having fun in a safe and relaxed environment.

With varied, high-intensity functional movements, the classes at Howling Heart promote health and fitness in a challenging yet encouraging environment. Classes are deliberately kept small (12 is the maximum in a class) to ensure that clients have fun while safely pushing themselves to the limit, gaining results without injury.

Eithne and Kieran are both experienced and passionate fitness instructors. A native of Wexford, Kieran has a degree in Exercise and Health Studies. He moved to Clonakilty seven years ago to play with Clonakilty RFC and somewhere along the way found CrossFit and became hooked. “I’ve never been so fit or felt so good in my life,” he says.

Eithne, from Clonakilty, is a trained neuromuscular therapist. She got into strength and conditioning exercise almost five years ago and has since earned a place on the Irish weightlifting team. For the second year-in-a-row, Eithne has qualified to compete at the European Weightlifting Championships, taking place this year in Croatia in April. “CrossFit has given me a positive and energising outlook on life,” says Eithne.

The 45-minute workouts at Howling Heart are planned and supervised from start to finish and are easy to fit into a busy schedule.  Regular health assessments support clients and it doesn’t take long to see results in body shape, strength and energy levels. “Whatever the goal or motivation behind wanting to get fit – it could be something as simple as wanting to play with your kids – our job is to get people there,” says Kieran.

“Children have great mobility and in order to move better, we need to reset ourselves by returning to movements we did as children, such as squatting,” explains Kieran. “This is what we’re about…functional movements that can be transferred to everyday activities or tasks, promoting health and fitness. There’s no age or fitness limit.”

Eithne and Kieran have transformed a shell of a warehouse into a state-of-the-art facility and incorporating a comfortable chill-out area with tea and coffee making facilities is just one of the aspects that gives a real sociable feel to the Howling Heart Fitness Centre. “We’re not just a fitness centre, we’re a community,’ says Eithne, who will also be offering Neuromuscular physical therapy at the centre.

“Howling Heart has been a great way to re-introduce myself to my old love of CrossFit. Manageable class numbers mean a good deal of personal attention is ensured and both Eithne and Kieran are fantastic coaches who always have a smile on their faces, are very encouraging and can tailor everything to an individual’s level. If you’ve tried this style of training before, you won’t regret joining Howling Heart, if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ll find it an excellent place to start.” Donie O’Driscoll.

“Out of any kind of training for years and just lost interest but I’ve rekindled my love of exhaustion in Howling Heart. There is something new every day and good fun doing it. Ticks all the boxes.” Owen George Crudge

Classes at Howling Heart Fitness run from Monday to Saturday. For more details or to book an intro class call Eithne on 087 414 5729 or Kieran on 087 6637699.

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17th October, 2018  ·  

SuperValu and AsIAm host unique exhibition in Clonakilty

SuperValu and AsIAm.ie will host a unique exhibition which will enable the entire town of Clonakilty to experience what it is like for people with autism to deal with the world around them. The exhibition, which is free to visit, will be hosted in the Clonakilty Parish Hall from 10am to 4pm on Thursday 27th September. The exhibition represents the final part of the four month journey the town has been on to becoming Ireland’s first ever fully accredited Autism Friendly Town and guests are invited to join on a ‘pop-in’ basis.

The exhibition uses an engaging “questions and answers” format as well as a series of activities to answer people’s questions and enable visitors to step into the shoes of those with the condition. This includes using sound, smells, touch and sight experiments to bring neurotypical (those without Autism) people into the world of those with the condition.

“People with autism often experience a sense of being overwhelmed and confused by what others see as normal life, and this exhibition will allow those attending to understand this more than they have done before,” according to the CEO of AsIAm Adam Harris. “Through visiting this exhibition we believe people will be much better equipped to engage with people with autism who they meet regularly in their day-to-day lives.”

Visitors are given an MP3 player which gives them an audio guide through 15 stages which allow them experience different aspects of life with autism.

Under SuperValu and AsIAm’s guidance, the town of Clonakilty has undertaken a commitment to become fully Autism Friendly – a first for anywhere in Ireland. Over the last four months Adam Harris, founder of AsIAm, and his team have been working with the entire community to receive official Autism Friendly Accreditation.

To do this the town as a whole must deliver:

Engagement and training 25% of businesses and voluntary organisations
Engagement and training of 50% of public services
Engagement and training of 50% of school communities
Engagement and training of 50% of healthcare professionals
Engagement of 3 employers
Reaching 25% of the town’s population
The town has almost reached these targets with this exhibition representing the last piece of the journey reaching and educating as many of the community as possible.

The exhibition was developed by the AsIAm Youth Leadership Team, a group of young people with Autism who act as advocates for the organisation. It is part of a larger campaign to engage young people in Autism issues which includes a social media campaign and a website, youthhub.asiam.ie

Around 1 in 65 people in Ireland live with Autism and are to be found in every community and school in the country. They apply for every type of job but are often misunderstood, excluded or left behind due to a lack of understanding in society.
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