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WATCH: Charity launches Fitness Factor fundraiser

The six-week programme is going virtual this year.


A popular six-week fitness programme to raise money for cancer services will begin next month as it challenges participants to raise funds and work on their health.

Cancer Focus NI, in association with Women Gone Strong, have teamed up to deliver their Fitness Factor programme, which will run online for the first time since its inception.

Speaking at the event’s launch in Portglenone Forest, Cancer Focus NI Community Fundraiser, Emma McCann, said the virtual aspect was a new departure for them.

“I’ve been running these six-week fitness and health challenges for over eight years now, but it has always just been working outside and within gyms,” she told the County Derry Post.

“Because of what has happened [with Covid-19], we have to try and modify the programme and the fundraising in line with social distancing rules and regulations.

“That’s why we decided we would try and do it virtually online. People can get fit, raise funds and have fun without leaving their house.

“Six-week programmes can get results very quickly with calorie deficit and cutting food groups out but I want to establish an achievable, sustainable change in lifestyle that can be maintained.”

The programme is being run in association with Women Gone Strong, who offer exercise, nutrition and mindset training.

Owner Catherine Martin says the initiative is more than just a fitness programme.

“It’s a support group to help them get through the six weeks, to educate them on how to eat healthily and how to exercise without overtraining,” she said.

“We are adamant about building a community – this is not an Emma or Catherine show by any means – it’s for the people that join.

“There will be three live workouts, so it’ll either be on Zoom, or streamed on Facebook live through a private group.

“I’m going to bring in the mindset element of it as well, so there will be meditation, setting goals, self-care and self-image.

“In my mind, it is mind, body and soul really, to give you the three under the one roof. If I teach them a bit of everything, they can go and use those tools.”

While the programme is based on people coming together and having fun, participants will be asked to raise at least £300 for the charity while taking part in the programme.

“People forget about charities at this time because they are worried about themselves to a certain degree,” said Catherine.

“If we can get it out there about the services they provide, it’s amazing what they do. If any of us were diagnosed with cancer, we would want that support there.

“As much as things are hard, people still do have money, so a wee bit of a donation is all we’re asking for.”

“We can’t supply the services without funds. Our funds stopped overnight because of the lockdown and it’s worrying for all charities,” added Emma.

“Coronavirus does not stop people getting diagnosed with cancer.”

To sign up for the Fitness Factor, visit the Cancer Focus NI or Women Gone Strong Facebook pages or contact Emma McCann by email on emmamccann@cancerfocusni.org, or by phone on 07731375022.

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