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Festival inspires Wild Atlantic Way step challenge

By Niall Harkiss

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Ullapool Feel Good Festival has inspired a number of events for people in the area
Ullapool Feel Good Festival has inspired a number of events for people in the area

THE success of a community sports festival has inspired people in Ullapool to step up to a new challenge, as they tackle the Wild Atlantic Way - at least virtually.

Ullapool Feel Good Festival, which is now in its third year, was set up by the Ullapool Community Sports Hub in 2019 to motivate the community to engage in social and physical activity over the winter months to encourage them to take care of their mental health.

But during the course of the pandemic, the Hub has had to adapt its offering and in doing so, has set new challenges for the community by asking them to record their running and walking steps throughout the day. Since then, a number of creative online step count challenges have been made.

One of the first challenges completed by the group was the 1 million step count challenge, which resulted in a total of 8.5 million walking and running steps being recorded in one week.

From January 17, the group will begin counting and recording their steps in a bid to complete a brand new challenge - walking the 1600 miles of the Wild Atlantic Way. But instead of making their way along the Irish coastal route itself, they will spend time walking, running and completing other sports activities in the comfort of their own community, recording their steps as they go.

Ben Bruce, active schools coordinator for High Life Highland, said: “The Feel Good Festival has been a great success so far and we are hoping to build on it year by year. The Ullapool community is always fantastic at supporting these sorts of initiatives which is a big reason for the festival being successful.

“Everyone has mental health and it’s so important to take steps to make sure you are taking care of it, especially in the winter months. This festival was the perfect way to help people recognise that. It offers different ways for people to be both physically and socially active over the tough winter months.”

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