GAA star has desire for people to get involved in outdoor activity

By Maurice Garvey

A BIG concern for kids these days is the lack of exercise, something Dublin GAA hurling star Conal Keaney is keen to change.

Reception with Logo

Reception at CP Adventures

Conal (36) has been busy off the playing field and along with business partner Paul Ashmore, established Phoenix Park Bikes and CP Adventure – an outdoor activity park.

Recently, CP Adventure, formerly based at Avon Ri, officially opened for business at Russborough House in Wicklow - a much larger site to cater for the activities it offers both adults and kids.

This includes ziplining, climbing towers, abseiling, archery, target training, kayaking, and clay pigeon shooting, with dragon canoes available to take up to ten people at one time.

Keaney, who has a background in business, specifically tourism, outdoor adventure, and event management, has a desire to see Irish people get involved in outdoor activities.

Archery 2

Archery at Cp Adventures

“It is something we notice in Phoenix Park Bikes, not enough Irish kids are using bikes, and they don’t go to the park with bikes,” said Keaney.

“Up to 90 per cent of our customers there are tourists, but we are working on trying to get more Irish kids into cycling, including things like Easter egg hunts.”

War Canoe

The war canoe at CP Adventures

At Russborough House, Keaney believes the scale of the open plan location will attract more adults and kids to try out new activities.

“A big attraction is the new climbing wall and a 100 metre zipline, twice as long as Avon Ri” said Keaney.

Climbing Wall 2

The new climbing wall

“The activities are generally suitable for kids aged six and over, depending on different abilities, their co-ordination, but you often see good communication with families encouraging them on.”

 Still involved with Ballyboden St Enda’s GAA club, Keaney said another major advantage for the location is that they can host kids summer camps.

Conal Keaney

Dublin and Ballyboden GAA star Conal Keaney

“The kids summer camps are a bit different. They get to stay overnight, take a boat across the lake, like Bear Grylls, we teach them how to cook, light a fire, survival skills.”

Corporate events for team building exercises, and school trips also make up another significant portion of their clientele.

“We have about 15 staff but more at peak times,” said Keaney.

“You need staff for each activity, so it is supervised, to ensure they are prepped, know the guidelines, and coached as they go through.”

Open seven days a week, people are advised to call ahead if they are planning on going down, to ensure availability.

“Generally, people spend the day in Russborough House, bring a picnic, visit the Blacksmith, watch the sheep herding.”

High or low intensity activities are available for customers. For further information on kids camps and weekend courses in sailing and kayaking, visit www.cpadventure.ie

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