Being active in the natural environment significantly improves mental health as well as overall wellbeing, quality of life, happiness and life satisfaction.
Outdoor sports provide a broad range of activities and opportunities that both engage and provide benefits to people of all ages, social or economic background and ability. There are so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Sligo.
SSRP supports Community Walking and Walking Clubs around the county.
We assist with club development, community walking initiatives, Fit-Walk initiatives, walking club information and national events such as Operation Transformation Walks. It is easy to get walking in Sligo!
There are a number of walking clubs in Sligo – see our Club Directory for details of groups near to you.
Community Walking Groups
Community Walking Groups in County Sligo are established in community settings as opposed to formal stand-alone walking club structures. Usually groups are linked to an existing community structure such as Family Resource Centre, Community Development organisation, Community Centre etc. Generally, the Community Walking Groups focus on walks for mixed ability levels, moderate duration (one to one and half hours maximum) and on defined tracks and trails.
Get Ireland Walking provides a list of groups registered in county Sligo.
SSRP supports the annual RTE’s Operation Transformation Programme to encourage people to follow a healthy lifestyle through the organisation of a mass participation walk each year in January. Throughout January/ February the Operation Transformation programme runs for seven weeks on RTE and SSRP avails of the national promotion for a healthy lifestyle by encouraging the people of Sligo to get involved in the Sligo Operation Transformation Walk. Keep an eye on our social media platforms for dates and places in January.
Get Ireland Walking
For individual walking Get Ireland Walking is a useful website with tips and resources to start walking. They have a 21 Day Challenge you can take, a get Ireland Walking App to download and much more.
Sligo Walks is a collaborative website, developed between Sligo County Council, Sligo Leader Partnership/Rural Recreation Officer and Sligo Tourism to highlight/capture all the known public walks in Co. Sligo. Sligo boasts a range of walks including two premier long distance linear walking routes – The Sligo Way and The Miners Way and Historical Trail.
Currently there are over sixty walks across all types of terrain from coastal to forest, lakeshore to upland and everything in between! These trails are all within a short travel distance from Sligo City. So whether you are a beginner or an experienced recreational trail user, there is a walk for everyone to enjoy.
Find a walk near you at www.sligowalks.ie
Bike for Life Programme
SSRP roll out the Cycling Ireland Bike for Life programme annually between April and September. This is a beginner’s cycling programme, in which a cyclist is brought through the various skills and techniques involved in cycling once a week for 1.5 horus session over a 4 to 6 week period.
The focus of the programme is on learning cycling skills and meeting new people, with the group cycle a prominent feature in the programme. Keep an eye out for details on this website and our social media channels.
Bike Week Initiative
SSRP in association with Sligo County Council support the annual Department of Transport Bike Week Initiative which is held annually each year in June.
Bike Week is a cross-community effort to highlight cycling as a fun, cost effective and healthy way to travel. A number of initiatives take place annually during bike week which are open to all including youth cycling skills and drills, adult learn to cycle lessons, adult spins, cycle to work day, mountain biking etc.
AXA Community Bike Rides
The AXA Community Bike Rides aim to inspire people to get out on their bikes, established by Cycling Ireland in conjunction with AXA Insurance. AXA Community Bike Rides are a fantastic way to meet new people and connect with those living around you. These free rides are open to all adults (18 years and older), and are a safe and sociable way to exercise with the support of a voluntary cycling leader.
You can find the next one at www.axacommunitybikerides.com/rides
Coolaney National Mountain Bike Park
Coolaney National Mountain Bike Park is a network of purpose-built single-track trails and forest roads that are designed for use by mountain bikes on waymarked circular routes between 3km and 22km in length. This is the first phase of an extensive trail system being built in the Ox Mountains near Coolaney and is very exciting for Sligo.
Find out more information about the trails at https://www.coillte.ie/site/coolaney-mtb/
Northwest MTB for Women
SSRP supported Northwest Mountain Bike club ran a very successful Introduction to MTB for women during February and March. This was a great opportunity for women to get a taste of MTB as the club are working to increase the number of female members in their club. Mountain biking is becoming a very popular sport in Sligo with the opening of Coolaney Mountain Bike trails.
If you are interested in Mountain Biking or joining the club check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NorthWestMTB/
EuroVelo Route 1 –Atlantic Coast Route
Sligo County Council has recently developed a signposted on road cycling route throughout the county as part of EuroVelo Route 1 –Atlantic Coast Route, so keep an eye out for the white signs with blue bikes. EuroVelo is a network of 15 long distance cycle routes connecting and uniting the whole European continent.
The routes can be used by cycle tourists as well as by local people making daily journeys. The Atlantic Coast Route goes from North Cape – Sagres (8.186 km) and passes through Sligo, Donegal and Mayo.
Find the route here https://atlanticonbike.ie/en/
Ladies Tour of Lough Gill
The Ladies Tour of Lough Gill is a women’s only cycling event which is organised annually each year by Innisfree Wheelers Cycling Club with support from Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership. At national level the event receives support from Sport Ireland under the Women in Sport programme and the Health Service Executive Get Ireland Active initiative.
The event is particularly targeted at inactive women who wish to get fit through the sport of cycling. Each year Innisfree Wheelers Cycling Club organise training spins for beginner cyclists in the lead up to the event.
Contact email@example.com for upcoming dates and information on how to get involved.
Sligo has a number of Cycling Clubs across the county see the Club Directory for a list of Clubs in Sligo.
SSRP link with Schools, After School Clubs and Community Groups to deliver the Cycling Ireland Sprocket Rocket programme for children aged 6 to 12 years.
This is a cycling skills programme where children are taught the four FUNdamental cycling skills – Balance, Braking, Cornering and Pedaling – by qualified sprocket rocket coaches. The aim is to increase the competence and confidence of riders. Sprocket Rocket is a flexible programme which can be delivered over a 4-12 week period (length is tailored for each group), with 1 hour long sessions.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for upcoming dates and information on how to get involved.
Open Water Swimming
Swim Irelands Open Water Swimming
SSRP linked with Swim Ireland’s Participation Officer and qualified coaching team dedicated to bring their Swim Irelands Open Water Swimming programme to Sligo.
To find out when lessons are taking place and to book visit https://www.swimireland.ie/open-water
Swim Ireland’s Me and the Water
Swim Ireland’s new ‘Me and the Water App’ will provide you with all the information you need on swimming spots around the country. Find the latest local information, weather and chat with other members of the tribe.
Check out www.meandthewater.ie
SSRP is committed to the development of watersports in County Sligo and to date has been instrumental in establishing Sligo Rowing Club and Sligo Kayak Club while also supporting participation initiatives in the sports of Surfing and Sailing. Check out the Club Directory for a list of clubs in Sligo.
Examples of Watersports available in Sligo include:
Rowing is a great way to get active with friends in a relaxed and scenic outdoor environment and the new Social Rowing initiative within Sligo Rowing Club has been initiated and gone from strength to strength within Sligo Rowing Club. On 12th May 2018, the club with the assistance of Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnerships under the Urban Outdoor Adventure Initiative held an Open Day to promote their new leisure rowing coxed quad boat. Subsequent to the open day the club held ‘Learn to Row’ courses, a course developed by Rowing Ireland to introduce people to rowing and provide them with the skills and knowledge needed to earn their rowing passport. he social rowing element of their club.
These course are run annually by Sligo Rowing club for beginners. To find out more email email@example.com
WOW Kayaking – Tubbercurry
Through the Urban Outdoor Adventure Initiative a number of opportunities to take part in Kayaking for beginners are run annually. Introduction to kayaking takes places at Temple House lake and the successful WOW women’s beginner kayaking programme takes place with Sligo Kayak Club.
For more information on these programme contact firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a number of adventure sport clubs in Sligo including Archery, Climbing, Orienteering and Mountaineering. Check the club directory for details.
Archery training is suitable for people of any age and ability. SSRP offer archery in the schools setting though Youth Sport West and Girls Active and in the community through Mens Sheds. Carrowmore Archers offer regular ‘Have a Go days’ for anyone looking to try out the sport.
The Sports Inclusion Disability Officer and the Carrowmore Archers Club regularly organise ‘Have a Go’ days in Archery on a monthly basis to promote the sport further and give people with a disability the chance to try out the sport of Archery to see if they would like to pursue it further.
For further information on the next Archery ‘Have a Go’ Day contact Robert Gawley on email@example.com
Orienteering with Map Run App
MapRun6 is a mobile phone app available for Android and iPhones that allows you to do orienteering just using your phone. You install the App on your phone, and select a course. When you do the course the phone beeps and registers when you reach a control point. You can view the map and your current location and track on your phone, then upload your time when you complete a course. You can do the available courses at any time. There are no actual flags at the control points but the control points are defined features on the map. Sligo Town currently have four courses, two short and two medium courses.
Find out more and download MapRun at https://www.orienteering.ie/what-is-orienteering/maprun/
Watch this short video to find out how to get started
Sligo Climbing Club were involved in a Club Development Project with SSRP and Mountaineering Ireland through the Sport Ireland Dormant Accounts funded Volunteer Training and Support project 2019. Through the project the club developed clubs structure, governance, coach training and ran a number of introduction to climbing days to grow the club membership.
There is currently a strong active climbing club in Sligo, find out more on their website Facebook page.
MAP RUN APP - Urban Orienteering
Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership linked with Orienteering Ireland to develop MapRun Courses for Sligo Town.
MapRun is a mobile phone app available for Android and iPhones that allows you to do orienteering just using your phone. You install the App on your phone, and select a course. When you do the course the phone beeps and registers when you reach a control point. You can view the map and your current location and track on your phone, then upload your time when you complete a course. You can do the available courses at any time. There are no actual flags at the control points but the control points are defined features on the map. Sligo Town currently have four courses, two short and two medium courses.
For further details on Map Run on Orienteering Ireland Website Click Here
HER Outdoors Week
HER Outdoors week aims to celebrate and encourage more females to get out and enjoy the benefits of being in the outdoors while bringing visibility to the opportunities for females to get involved in outdoor physical activity.
The first ever HER Outdoors Week was held in August 2021 and it was a huge success. With over 250 events taking place nationwide and nearly 5,000 females active across 7 days, Sport Ireland want to build on this for the 2022 campaign.
This week will be an opportunity for ALL females to escape to the outdoors and try something new. For such a tiny island, there are so many incredible outdoor activities on offer and this should be celebrated to the fullest!
Whatever you do, make sure to #FindYourOutdoors.
Visit HER Outdoors https://www.sportireland.ie/heroutdoors to find out what’s happening.
To find out more contact: