Waterford coach Derek McGrath has been added to the speakers’ roster for the Balance Expo, to be staged at the INEC in Killarney on January 14, 2018, writes Larry Ryan.
McGrath recently committed to manage the Waterford hurlers again in 2018 after reflecting on his future since the All-Ireland final defeat by Galway. He has frequently spoken about the difficulties of juggling a life in elite sport with full-time work as a teacher and his own family life.
That search for balance proves elusive for people in all walks of life and it’s what motivated the three Kerry GAA players behind the groundbreaking event.
Three-time Gaelic football All-Ireland winner Donnchadh Walsh, together with Kerry hurlers John ‘Tweek’ Griffin, and James Flaherty came up with the idea. Their aim was to create Ireland’s first event to incorporate health, fitness, nutrition and sports.
“The vision was to create something for everyone from fitness fanatics to those brave enough to take the first steps in changing their lives,” says Walsh. “We want to offer people of all ages an experience that will educate, enlighten and inspire them.”
Griffin retired this year after a long career in the Kerry jersey and has his own experiences of juggling long commutes to training with a busy work life.
But he says Balance is for everyone.
“We’re so busy in our lives, whether you’re an elite sportsperson or a business person or a parent at home, we’re all trying to find balance. But it’s nearly impossible at times to achieve it.
“The whole aim of this is to help people find balance in their lives. We think it does exactly what it says on the tin.
“We’re all very aware these days that physical and mental health are so tied in. But some people find it very hard to fit fitness into their routines. But even a 20-minute walk is such a great way to clear your head.”
The New Year event will also feature speakers such as bestselling cookery author and entrepreneur Roz Purcell, athlete and food write Derval O’Rourke, Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy, fitness trainer Siobhan O’Hagan, performance psychologist Gerry Hussey and others to be announced.
Panel discussions on the day will address such issues as motivational barriers, setting healthy eating goals and innovative exercise concepts. Event partners, the Bon Secours hospital, will present on injury prevention and recovery. And there will be a host of exhibitors from the sport, fitness, health and nutrition industries.
John Griffin in action against Offaly in March 2016
Added Griffin: “Whether you are a trainer, a young GAA player or basketball player, or an older person who wants to get active and healthy, you will face different challenges.
“The Balance Expo will facilitate those early stage exercisers or the more seasoned health enthusiasts.
“We also hope it will be a fun family day, where people can stroll around and see the exhibitors as well as listen to the speakers. There will be lots of kids’ activities. And we’ll have yoga sessions, and a virtual sports simulator.”
Tickets for the event are available on EventBrite
Ticket pricing: Adult €25 Student & OAP (with a valid ID) €20. U16’s are free (accompanied by an adult). Group rates available on request.
Check the www.balanceexpo.ie for updates. Email: email@example.com or phone 085 7177350.