The Weekly Read: Former prisoner and group of college students come up with innovative 'get fit' idea
A former prisoner and a group of DCU students have come up with an innovative solution to help ex-prisoners and to get more people active.
“Care After Prison Bootcamp” which is the brainchild of Enactus DCU, involves ex-prisoner Kieron Kearney running fitness classes in Albert College Park beside DCU.
Enactus DCU is a college society that sets up projects and businesses to solve social issues. The Enactus DCU students had worked with homeless people and people with intellectual disabilities before partnering with Care After Prison (CAP) back in October.
Care After Prison offers services to support people to live crime free lives once they have left the prison system. They help people in various areas of accommodation, education, finance, addiction and much more.
Proceeds from the bootcamp go back into Care After Prison and the project itself, while the rest of the money goes straight to Kieron.
Fitness guru Kieron enthuses about CAP Bootcamp:
“I love doing it, I’m a people person. I love getting people interested in looking after themselves educating them on how important it is to look after their health.”
He hopes that by educating this generation, this knowledge and interest in fitness can be passed on to their children. He says the people that come to the classes are easy to work with:
“I’ve never had one complaint or someone saying they can’t do something and dodging an exercise.”
The hour-long classes run every Wednesday at 3.30pm and are open to everyone. The classes cost €5 and all fitness levels are welcome.
The classes are focused on strength and conditioning. There’s also circuits and games thrown in to keep everyone entertained.
Co-founder of the CAP Bootcamp is Global Business Student Mark Farrelly. He explained that the bootcamp gives him a much needed chance to get a break from assignments or study.
"It’s an opportunity for me to clear my head and it often even revitalizes or motivates me further,” he said.
Mark added that getting the project up and running was easier than expected because of Kieron’s enthusiasm.
“He obviously has a great passion for health and fitness and his energetic classes made it easy for us to recruit new members,” he explained.
First year student, David Curtis has attended the classes since they began in February.
“I love the classes, Kieron is really encouraging and makes the workouts tough but enjoyable,” the Business and Spanish student said.
Kieron also teaches fitness classes in the Carmelite Community Centre on Aungier Street at 9.15 am on Tuesdays and Fridays.