Tuesday 20 March 2018

Rathnure family compete for Fittest Family crown

Mícheál, Róisín, Cathal and Chris O'Connor
Mícheál, Róisín, Cathal and Chris O'Connor

David Looby

The O'Connor family from Rathnure will compete for the title of Ireland's Fittest Family in a new series starting on RTÉ One on Sunday at 6.30 p.m.

They will compete against 11 other mega-fit families to win the coveted title and €15,000 in prize money.

Chris O'Connor (48), his daughter Róisín (14) and his sons Cathal (18) and Mícheál (16) will appear in episode two of series five on Sunday, November 5, when they will be up against five other families in the gruelling tunnel challenge. There is expected to be a lot of interest in their progress as the county cheers the O'Connor family on.

Chris works as a roofer, carpenter and builder.

He lived in Australia for a number of years and played hurling and football growing up. Chris has completed the Blackstairs Adventure Race and loves to run.

Cathal plays hurling at a minor and club level. He recently made his senior debut for his club. He is an All-Ireland U16s Schools' Hurling and Football winner and recently completed his Leaving Certificate. Mícheál plays hurling for his county at under-17 level. He is a keen racketballer and has a twin brother who isn't on the team.

Róisín plays camogie and loves to run. She is the second youngest person on the competition this year.

This year Ireland's Fittest Family presented by Mairead Ronan has a coaching line-up that includes series four winner Anna Geary, GAA legend Davy Fitzgerald, returning hero Derval O'Rourke and first time Fittest Family coach and rugby legend Donncha O'Callaghan.

New tougher locations have been added to the series, which test all aspects of fitness, starting with Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven, County Cork. Dark damp underground tunnels terrify the families in the very first event, and it doesn't get any easier in the eliminator, which the coaches believe to be the toughest course ever featured on the series.

Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitz said: 'The one thing that really stands out for me this year is the strength of the girls; some of the girls in the competition are the strongest members of their family. The lads will have to up their game!'

Performance consultant and referee Joe O'Connor said: 'Each year the stakes get higher, and this year definitely presents the toughest physical challenges that we have seen to date. Some Fittest Family hero events like Hanging Tough will return, but new events which see the families tested in ways we haven't seen before will feature in every episode.'

Enniscorthy Guardian