WalkNI.com Your definitive guide to walking in Northern Ireland

Local athlete in NSPCC’s corner for annual HACK


Paddy Barnes, Olympic and European medal-winning boxer, is encouraging people to get ready for some fancy footwork at this year’s NSPCC HACK – Hike Against Cruelty to Kids - through the magnificent Mournes.

Sponsored this year by Wade Training, the 20 mile Mournes HACK - one of eleven HACKs across the UK in 2011 - will take place on 17 September. The route traces its way through one of Northern Ireland's most popular areas of natural beauty where walkers will be able to take in stunning view of the coast, sea and countryside as they make their way by forest, loughs, rivers and bogs.

Renowned for his lightning reflexes and relentless pace in the ring, Paddy said that the NSPCC’s annual HACK is a great way to get in shape:

“The Mournes HACK offers an opportunity to enjoy some of Northern Ireland’s most spectacular scenery, while raising money for the invaluable work the NSPCC does to help vulnerable children and young people.

”This year’s HACK is a fantastic hiking challenge and offers people not only a great opportunity to get into training,  but a rewarding physical challenge. That said, you can rest assured that there’ll be plenty of fun along the way.

“Whether you’re an experienced walker, or if this is new to you, get your walking boots on, start training and get yourself registered for the Northern Ireland HACK in the magnificent Mournes!”

In rounding up local support for this year’s hike, Paddy has some useful suggestions for those taking part:

“Much as this will be a fun, social event, it’s really important that you train for this type of long distance walk. I would advise a good mix of exercise during the summer months, and trial walks over similar distances.

“Preparation is key, from eating plenty of high-energy food in the week leading up to the walk, to ensuring that your boots are well worn-in, comfortable and waterproof.  While there’s no need for specialist equipment, I would suggest wearing lightweight, loose fitting trousers or walking trousers, plenty of layers and a waterproof coat.

“After that, it’s just a matter of getting out there and enjoying yourself!”

The HACK is an amazing challenge experience in the great outdoors which offers a valuable opportunity to support NSPCC projects and services in Northern Ireland. Open to people aged 18 years and over, no pets are permitted on the walk. Once registration is complete, entrants will receive a walker’s pack outlining their start time and giving further details of the route. Participants can then begin collecting sponsorship pledges from friends, family and colleagues.

The registration fee is £20. For further details and online registrations and payments, please log on to www.nspcc.org.uk/hack  or contact the Northern Ireland NSPCC fundraising office on 028 90 35 7970 or by emailing hackni@nspcc.org.uk. Final registration date is 3 September 2011.

For more information, click here.