Review of Operation Transformation 2013
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In 2013 we headed in a totally different direction with a new fundraiser for the Club when Operation Transformation came to life in January. It was a most successful venture on many fronts. As a fundraiser it brought over €7,500 into the club, €7,000 to the development fund and the proceeds of the finale night's draw to the kitty for the U-14 boys trip to the Feile in Derry. Socially it brought people together in a unique way, where everyone was in the same boat, wanting to get a little fitter and healthier. Everyone was very encouraging to everyone else, with women praising or consoling as was required after each weigh in. The men involved certainly gave congratulations to each other when it was due, but there was no mercy shown if one of their kind was unfortunate enough to have gained a little during the week!!! All involved had a busy seven weeks, bootcamps to be endured, fitness classes to be gotten through, walks to be attended, and Knocknarea to be climbed. Aisling Stephenson took care of the at times sensitive subject of doing weigh-ins, and Damien McGovern refused to forget about us for a month, and spent part of his holiday in New York inputting information that was e-mailed to him weekly. 
We had teams take part from all parts of the Club area, and in the middle of the event we converged in Gurteen hall where there was a valiant attempt made to teach us to dance during a Ceili. The chances of any of us getting an invite to next years 'Strictly Come Dancing' remain slim, but it was great craic, and we were certainly put through our paces by Mildred!! During our Sunday walks we visited Culfadda, Keash, Gurteen, Cloonloo, Monastarden and finally Ballinafad, where in the field study centre, they pulled a fast one and attempted to undo all the good work of previous weeks by throwing a banquet fit for a king. We have no proof, but are reasonably sure that they all went out the back for a feed of lettuce and carrots themselves.....  However, their efforts at sabotage were in vein, when John Boy Walton (AKA Padraig Henry) led his team "The Waltons" to the podium in Higgins lounge to lift the inaugural OT silverware high in victory as the biggest losers. Sean Scott did a fantastic job as MC, and a more questionable job as DJ later in the night!!! Liz Coyle had been busy and had baked a cake declaring that as a group, OT participants had lost a staggering 1200lbs in seven weeks.

A further six weeks of fitness classes followed in OT phase 2, but as the football season took off time became limited for everyone, and numbers dwindled. Shaun Dorrian in the meantime had spotted an article somewhere with information on an upcoming initiative being rolled out by Croke Park, The Healthy Club project. He submitted a report on what we were doing as a club, and what we hoped to do, and successfully ensured Eastern Harps was one of just 16 clubs nationwide to be accepted onto the program, which is a fantastic achievement for our Club.

Thanks to all the walk stewards, event sponsors Centra Gurteen and Lavins Outfitters Ballymote, and anyone who helped out in any way over the weeks. But mostly to the team leaders and participants who took a chance on joining us and trusting we wouldn't cause anyone to feel self concious during an event that focused on fitness and weight, which are very personal subjects for us all. 

As the evenings became a little shorter, the meals a little larger, and the snacks a little more frequent people started to remember OT and enquiries began relating to 2014. Well, here we are, the planning has been done and our second Operation Transformation has just enjoyed a successful launch night.

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