Sligo Performance Nutritionist Daniel Davey is encouraging men to look after their health at an upcoming event

Mr Davey is organizing ‘The Shepherds Run’ – a 5km run or walk on Saturday June 15 at Dohern Hill in Chaffpool, South Sligo, with a focus on raising money and encouraging men to look after their health pay attention.

Firstly, the renowned sports nutritionist, who has previously worked with Dublin GAA and Leinster Rugby, wants to raise money for the South Sligo Cancer Support Centre.

And because the event takes place the day before Father’s Day, he wants to encourage men to take better care of themselves.

And finally, the event can promote the Dohern Hill walking route – a route close to Mr Davey’s heart.

Mr Davey’s father, Peter, sadly passed away in 2022, and his family saw the wonderful support that the South Sligo Cancer Support Center can offer people.

It is somewhat poignant that he would organize this event the day before Father’s Day.

Although he sometimes wanted to keep the Dohern Hill walking trail a secret, Davey now wants to promote this public facility as much as possible.

Speaking about the event, he told The Sligo Champion: “Over the last few years there was a realization that it was a special area, but also that the path itself which crosses Dohern would be a lovely public amenity.

“My mother (Eileen Davet), Gerry Connolly, Michael Toolan and Ray O’Grady got together and raised some money to upgrade the trail. That’s been done over the last two years and my mother runs it.

“The reason we call it the Shepherd’s Run is because when I was growing up, when the sheep would run out, or when I was looking for cattle, you were on that road. I would have walked it, walked it, and all the time walked like a child.

“At first you feel very protective of the space, you don’t want anyone to know about it. Then you get a little older and you think ‘this is so special’ and you want everyone to know about it. The route is a very beautiful, very beautiful route, but very few people know about it, because it has only really been invested in it in the last two years and turned into a footbridge.

“My father, who sadly passed away from cancer two years ago, would have walked that all his life. My family have really benefited from the support of the Sligo Cancer Support Centre. We have a great public provision, we have a great local support for people affected by cancer, and then it is the day before Father’s Day.”

And he really wants to get people talking about the importance of men’s health.

“There is a very important message about the health of everyone, but about men’s health and that of our fathers, and we try to convey that in the most positive way. There is a community element in bringing people together.

“I will sponsor all costs associated with it. Everything made from the event goes to the South Sligo Cancer Support Center as it is all voluntary.

“On the day we’ll have a little drinks station and some snacks and things like that for when people are done. We want everyone there before 6.45am. It’s a chat, it’s a push for strength. There’s also a bit of a fun part of running in.

“Some people will walk it, some people will run it, whatever pace you want. The response has been amazing. We’ve registered almost 70 people and I want as many people as possible to know about it and support it, and to be aware of the walk itself.”

The route over Dohern Hill offers beautiful views of the South Sligo countryside atop one of the three peaks, with views of neighboring Muckelty and Knocknashee.

In the first of an event that Davey hopes will take place annually, he hopes the event can start a conversation.

“Now that I’m older, my expertise lies in performance, health and nutrition. I work a lot in the wellness space. I want to start the conversation around people who are seeking health, men who don’t ignore the symptoms.

“I said something about my father, we did a piece with Ear To The Ground, it didn’t actually air. In his interview he said his only regret was not having a colonoscopy sooner. His Message to Men Fathers , especially farmers, if they had complaints or concerns, they had to talk to someone, or someone else.

“Can you imagine these types of conversations or events prompting someone to see a doctor and saving their life? Imagine how special that would be. This is the first of what I hope will be many.

“I would like this to become an annual event and that we create more and more awareness. This could be something anchored in and around Father’s Day that sparks a different kind of conversation between children, parents and all loved ones.”

Anyone interested in hiking is welcome to come along to the event.

And if you can’t attend but would still like to donate, you can do so by purchasing a ticket via the registration link.

Encourage anyone interested in a nice walk to come along.

The event starts at 6pm on Saturday 15 June at Dohern Hill and participants are asked to arrive no later than 5.30pm.

Participants should note that the course is not suitable for wheelchairs or buggies, and younger children may find it difficult.