Longford fitness instructor, Niall Toher (32), is set to become the first person to represent the county in the Irish Kettlebells Sports Championships. The national event, which is now in its third year, will see almost 90 competitors converge at O’Loughlin’s GAA Club, Kilkenny, on August 25 next.
Niall, who secured the top spot at the recent Ulster Championships (June), will be lifting two x 16kg weights within the Long Cycle.
“I jumped in the deep end with kettlebells. I started with the best at a seminar with Mick Kelly (Wexford) and two Russians who were over for a weekend. I’ve been doing competitions for over a year now,” said Niall, who plays with Clonguish and runs Keep Fit Classes at the N4 Axis Centre.
A kettlebell or Russian girya is a traditional Russian training tool that has been used since before the 1700s. Today, across the world, people from all walks of life are using kettlebells and since the 1960s, competitive kettlebell lifting has become an organised sport, under the name ‘Girevoy Sport’.
“We are building it up now and trying to get it recognised as a sport in Ireland,” said Niall, who recently founded the Longford Kettlebells Club.
“Eventually we want to make it an Olympic sport but to qualify for that you need to have it as a recognised sport in 40 countries. So far there are 25 countries trying to promote kettlebells as a sport.”
Longford has joined this fold with the establishment of the Longford Kettlebells Club, which meets every Friday evening (6pm) at the N4 Axis Centre.
“Kettlebells is a great sport. The techniques are unbelievable and the way in which it builds up your core and aligns the body, is just amazing,” said Niall. To find out more about Longford Kettlebells Club, call Niall on 086-3904584