Farmer’s daughter brings Fit Farm Camp to Eglish

The wheelbarrow race takes place at the Go Fitness NI fit farm camp in Eglish
The wheelbarrow race takes place at the Go Fitness NI fit farm camp in Eglish

A farmer’s daughter from Co Tyrone has created something a little bit different to help locals trying to get fit for the summer. Here, personal trainer Rebecca Irwin tells us more about her new project

Tyre flipping, ball slamming and rope battles might not be your typical farm activities but for me they are just a part of an average day on my family farm.

Tyre flipping was among the many activities which took place

Tyre flipping was among the many activities which took place

My name is Rebecca Irwin. I am 27 years old and I am from Eglish in Co Tyrone. I am a qualified personal trainer and owner of Go Fitness NI who loves to combine farm life with getting people fit.

It’s so much fun being on a farm and it’s so much fun exercising so I thought I would combine the two and bring people to a field at the back of our farm where we can all do exercise together.

Being the sixth generation of the Irwin farm at Eglish, we are always thinking of ways of diversifying.

I wanted to see something different happening on the land so I created a style of training out in the countryside in a field away from the average person’s busy lifestyle.

Rebecca Irwin is a qualified personal trainer and owner of Go Fitness NI

Rebecca Irwin is a qualified personal trainer and owner of Go Fitness NI

I personally have used farm equipment and used our fields to get fit, so I have brought in everyday farm equipment to adapt into fun exercises.

In May we launched the Fit Farm Camp and we were very lucky to wake up to a rain free morning.

I had gotten up early to help dad lift the eggs laid by our 14,000 free range chickens and prepared the field for our participants so we were ready to go at 8.30am.

As a member of Live It, Experience It, we were able to let lots of people know through the media that the Fit Farm Camp was being launched.

The training took place out in the countryside in a field away from the average person's busy lifestyle

The training took place out in the countryside in a field away from the average person's busy lifestyle

We want people to ‘Live It, Experience It’ on our farm and for them to know that it’s not just for local people – it’s a thing to do for any tourists staying in Northern Ireland who want to do that little something different.

The same question that kept recurring was, ‘I don’t think I will be fit enough’.

However, I reassured each participant so they didn’t feel out of their depth or felt the class was unachievable.

I adapted all exercises and was able to give two or three alternatives for each exercise.

Therefore, depending on the individual’s ability, you would choose the level which was best suited to you.

After the warm-up, everyone was partnered off and we completed a round of circuits which included ball slams, battle ropes, tyre flips and kettle bell swings.

We then had a fun wheelbarrow race and this helped to get everyone to interact and to relax.

This definitely wasn’t your normal wheelbarrow race as it involved myself being pushed in a wheelbarrow while the opponent pushes a wheelbarrow full off kettle bells.

If anything, it gave everyone a laugh and team work was required to complete this challenge.

Before going home, the participants stopped off at our egg vending machine to get eggs which are laid daily by our chickens and they went home to scrambled egg which is perfect for having a balanced and healthy diet.

Lesley Ann Wright, who attended one of the recent camps, said: “I went to my first farm fit class on Sunday morning and what a fantastic experience.

“Being out in the great country air was so refreshing and I felt a great sense of accomplishment.

“Never did I think I would actually enjoy exercise so much but Rebecca’s supportive nature, and trying something new, was utterly brilliant.”

There’s still time to join in – come along and give it a go.

Experience the great outdoors – just in a slightly different way than normal.

The third of four fit farm camps, which is based at Oona Bridge, will take place on Sunday, June 3 at 8.30am.