WOMEN of Wicklow are set to be treated to a new festival of outdoor adventure designed to encourage all females to find their outdoors.
Her Outdoors Week is an initiative by Sport Ireland that runs from August 8 to 14 and in the Garden County will be marked by the first Her Wicklow, Her Outdoors Festival.
The aim of this week is to provide opportunities for more females to get out and enjoy the benefits of being in the outdoors in Wicklow while bringing visibility to the opportunities for females to get involved in outdoor physical activity.
Speaking to Sport Ireland, Wicklow resident Mel McDermott from women’s hiking initiative Galz Gone Wild, explained why she feels nature is so important to her and others.
She said: “As a kid, I was curious and connected to nature, but I got distracted by materialism, having to get this job, and live that type of a life and I burnt out, suffered from depression. I was on medication for two years but it didn’t sit right with me. I was like, ‘I'm going to have to heal myself’. I'm going to try to just do things I like to do.
"I remember being on this hike and having that aha moment where I just felt joy for the first time in like three or four years. Nature is my medicine and I take it every day. That's why I'm flying the flag for women to get out into nature.”
If you want to get outdoors and see if it has as much of an impact on you as it did on Mel, Wicklow Local Sports Partnership have now unveiled the full schedule for their Her Wicklow, Her Outdoors Festival. It includes hiking, pony trekking, beach volleyball, rowing, cycling, orienteering, archery and canoeing.
Anyone wishing to take part in the events on the schedule below will need to register. You can find all the details at wicklowlsp.ie/her-wicklow-her-outdoors-schedule/
Her Wicklow, Her Outdoors Festival Schedule
Monday, August 8
10a.m.-1p.m. Therapeutic Horse Riding for Teen and Pre-Teen Girls at Spruce Lodge (€10)
2p.m.-3p.m and 4p.m.-5p.m. Arklow Balance Bike Taster at Coral Leisure Arklow for 4-7 years, but open to all ages.
6p.m.-7p.m. Beginners Beach Volleyball at Brittas Bay Beach with Volleyball Ireland coaches .
Tuesday, August 9
7p.m.-7:45p.m. Intro to Sea Swimming at Greystones South Beach (€5)
7p.m.-7:45p.m. Inclusive Intro to Sea Swimming at Greystones, South Beach for females with a disability or on the autistic spectrum (€5)
Wednesday, August 10
10a.m. Women With Altitude 10km Hike from the Glendalough Visitor Centre. (€10)
11a.m.-1p.m. Wellness Walk at Tomnafinogue Wood, Tinahely with Wicklow poet Jane Clarke and musician James Mahon (€5)
5p.m.-7p.m. Orienteering Ireland Taster Session at Belmont Demense in Bray (€5)
5:30p.m.-6:30p.m. and 6:45p.m.-7:45p.m. Beginners Archery for Women at Kilruddery, Bray (€5)
7p.m. 20km Easy Social Cycle on the Murrough in Wicklow Town (€5)
Thursday, August 11
6p.m.-8p.m. Surfing for Beginners at Brittas Bay (€5)
6p.m. Mini Hell and Back Challenge at Kilruddery, Bray (€40)
Friday, August 12
7p.m.-7:45p.m. Intro to Sea Swimming at Bray, North Beach (€5)
7p.m.-7:45p.m. Inclusive Intro to Sea Swimming at Bray, North Beach for females with a disability or on the autistic spectrum (€5)
Saturday, August 13
10a.m.-3p.m. Drumgoff to Glenmalure Guided Hike with Mountaineering Ireland – meet at Drumgoff Car Park (€5)
2p.m.-3p.m. Social Canoe at Russborough House (€5)
Sunday, August 14
10a.m.-11a.m. and 11a.m.-12p.m. Women Try Rowing with Bray Rowing Club at Bray, North Beach (€5)
For more information on Her Outdoors Week, visit www.sportireland.ie/heroutdoors.