Belfast Telegraph

Olympic boxing champ’s fancy footwork for charity

Paddy Barnes is swapping his boxing gloves for his walking boots in a bid to encourage fitness enthusiasts to take a hike for charity.

The Olympic and European medal-winning boxer is encouraging people to take part in the NSPCC HACK — Hike Against Cruelty to Kids — through the Mournes.

The 20 mile Mournes HACK — one of eleven HACKs across the UK in 2011, will take place on Saturday, September 17.

Renowned for his lightning reflexes and relentless pace in the ring, Paddy said: “ The NSPCC’s annual HACK is a great way to get in shape.”

In rounding up local support for this year’s hike, Paddy has some useful suggestions for those taking part:

“Much as this will be a fun, social event, it’s really important that you train for this type of long distance walk. I would advise a good mix of exercise during the summer months, and trial walks over similar distances.

“Preparation is key, from eating plenty of high-energy food in the week leading up to the walk, to ensuring that your boots are well worn-in, comfortable and waterproof.

“While there’s no need for specialist equipment, I would suggest wearing lightweight, loose fitting trousers or walking trousers, plenty of layers and a waterproof coat.

“After that, it’s just a matter of getting out there and enjoying yourself!”

A NSPCC spokeswoman said: “The Mournes HACK offers an opportunity to enjoy some of Northern Ireland’s most spectacular scenery, while raising money for the invaluable work the NSPCC does to help vulnerable children and young people.

“This year’s HACK is a fantastic hiking challenge and offers people not only a great opportunity to get into training, but a rewarding physical challenge. That said, you can rest assured that there will be plenty of fun along the way.

“Whether you’re an experienced walker, or if this is new to you, get your walking boots on, start training and get yourself registered for the Northern Ireland HACK in the magnificent Mournes!”

“The route traces its way through one of Northern Ireland's most popular areas of natural beauty where walkers will be able to take in stunning view of the coast, sea and countryside as they make their way by forest, loughs, rivers and bogs.”

Open to people aged 18 years and over, no pets are permitted on the walk. Once registration is complete, entrants will receive a walker’s pack outlining their start time and giving further details of the route. The registration fee is £20. For further details please log on to www.nspcc.org.uk/hack or contact the Northern Ireland NSPCC fundraising office on 028 90 35 7970.

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