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New Kettlebell Challenge for RehabCare

30/10/2012 New Kettlebell Challenge for RehabCare

The challenge will take place from 1pm on Saturday, 1st September at Irishtown Stadium, Dublin and all are welcome to come and show their support. The kettlebell challenge will be officially started by James Fennelly, Ireland’s Strongest Man and by Adrian O’Dwyer, National High Jump Record Holder and Irish Olympian in 2004. Dave successfully completed a similar challenge for the HOPS resource centre in February last year. Back then, he was swinging a 16kg kettlebell but this year the weight has increased to a staggering 24kg (52lb).

A favourite form of exercise with celebrities, sport stars and extreme athletes, kettlebells are bowling ball-sized cast iron weights with a single looped handle on top. For his challenge, Dave will attempt to walk one mile around the sports track while swinging the 24kg kettlebell. The kettlebell must be swung each time a step is taken, meaning that the bell will be lifted nearly 2,000 times over the course of a mile. He will be accompanied on the day by teams of enthusiastic volunteers who will take part in a separate kettlebell relay race.

The kettlebell challenge seeks to raise money for RehabCare’s HOPS resource centre which provides services and supports to adults living with mental health difficulties. The service offers a variety of programmes and activities in order to maintain wellness and improve the quality of life of those who attend the service.

Through his gym, Wild Geese Martial Arts, Dave has provided martial arts and fitness activities to 16 people who attend the HOPS centre for the past two years. According to Nessa Canavan, HOPS services manager, the participants, who range in age from their late 20s to mid 60s, have all experienced huge benefits from attending classes with Dave.

She says, “The feedback from the martial arts programme has been really positive. Participants have said how the exercise helped to reduce anxiety and lift their mood and was a great bonding experience for the group. We hope that the money raised by Dave’s challenge will help to further finance our physical activity programme, ensuring that more participants can reap the benefits of regular exercise for both physical and mental well-being.”

Dave Hedges is passionate about the benefits of regular exercise. “It helps to build confidence and instil a feeling of control and self-worth. After a long day of mental stress, either at work or as a result of illness, putting this stress into lifting a bar, hitting a punch bag or kicking a football is probably the best tonic one can ask for.”

Find out more about the benefits of keeping fit at and Further information on RehabCare is available at

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