Fitness4Fun began in 2015 on a programme in conjunction with Clare Sports Partnership, HSE Health Promotion Unit and the North Clare Primary Team with the aim to roll out exercise throughout Clare for people over the age of 50.
Founder John Conroy is a native of North Clare and is an experienced and qualified fitness coach. John has 15 years of experience working as a GAA coach and has worked with various community, voluntary, state organisations and private companies in Ireland dealing with all age groups.
He divides his time between Clare and assisting with charity work in Uganda. Each summer, John uses the exercises taught in Fitness4Fun in a hospice called Hospice Jinja in the East African country.
Previously working as a horticulturist, John undertook a part-time course at the University in Limerick which specialised in Active Older Adults. Fitness4Fun offers fitness programmes tailored for groups of active adults and cancer survivors. John’s qualifications also allow for the incorporation of chair yoga, gentle yoga and corporate yoga. He is currently studying yoga for the lower back.
In 2019, John qualified in a course conducted in California called ‘yoga for cancer’, being the sole Irish person with that practice and qualification, which is put to use at Fitness4Fun.
“Classes are conducted either seated or standing. There are exercises modified to suit people of all ranges of ability. A lot of what I am doing is bone health and bone strength. It improves people’s posture and their alignment. Many of my clients can’t leave the house at the moment and with that comes a lack of bone strength, movement and flexibility. This makes people more independent and gives them more power to do everyday things like walking, shopping and gardening,” he stated.
John is now operating Fitness4Fun online, due to restrictions. Pre-COVID, he was running a total of 17 classes throughout the county. With the help of the Clare Enterprise Board, he has managed to get online classes up and running. Online fitness classes are currently running at 10am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday morning via a closed Facebook group for €6 each.