It’s just a weighting game

The red team pictured at the launch of Ballymac's biggest loser. Included, are Catherine McCallion, Lisa Kivlehan, Nora McGowan, Louise James Julie Smith, Melanie McCullagh, Roxanne Nixon and Pauline Daniels. (1801SL10)

The red team pictured at the launch of Ballymac's biggest loser. Included, are Catherine McCallion, Lisa Kivlehan, Nora McGowan, Louise James Julie Smith, Melanie McCullagh, Roxanne Nixon and Pauline Daniels. (1801SL10)


If mum of three, Melanie McCullagh’s team fail to win the ‘Ballymac’s Biggest Loser’ title there will be hell to pay.

Melanie, (37), is in the red team and will compete against rival black, yellow and blue teams to be the group to shed the most weight over the next ten weeks.

“I took part in ‘Galliagh’s Biggest Loser’ last year and really enjoyed myself,” she said.

“I know what we need to do to win and if I see any of the rookies dragging their feet I’ll have a quiet word in their ear,” she said joking.

Melanie volunteers at the Ballymagroarty Youth Club and said that not only does the programme give people like her the chance to get healthy but explained that there’s a social aspect to it also.

“It’s going to be great fun. The slagging has already started on Facebook and if it’s anything like the one in Galliagh there will be plenty of new friendships developed as a result - I can’t wait to get started,” she said.

Forty-two year-old father of three, Declan Thompson, championed the blue team and has already targeted how much weight he’d like to lose.

“Last year, I took part in ‘Creggan’s Biggest Loser’ and lost over three stone. I want to lose the same amount this time around - if I can do that I will be extremely happy.

“Programmes such as this one are very important to the community because not only do they empower people to lose weight and get healthy they also educate on things such as diet and nutrition.

“There are a few big hitters in our team so hopefully the blue team win,” he smiled.

Rosemarie Griffin, 32, volunteers with Ballymagroarty Hazelbank Community Partnership (BHCP) and is also studying for degree in Community Relations at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown. Rosemarie is in the yellow team and says after losing over a stone in weight last year she wants to use this opportunity to stay fit and healthy.

“I thought this would be a great chance for me to get some experience for my degree. Volunteering with the BHCP is very beneficial to me but I will also be working very hard to make sure that the yellow team and no one else wins the title.”

Rosemarie started exercising two years ago and hasn’t looked back since. She’s already competed in the Waterside Half Marathon and is already packing her bags to run in next months half marathon in Barcelona.

“I never did any exercise up until a few years ago but after getting involved in a few community exercise programmes I was hooked.

“I run with the ‘Bolt’ running club which is based out of the Old Library Trust in Creggan and it’s a great way of getting fit and meeting new people,” she smiled.

Thirty year-old mum of three, Aishlene McShane said that she’s determined to get fit and healthy and even said that for the benefit of the red team she is willing to give up her one Achilles’ heel - buns.

“I tried going to the gym in the past but when you’re looking after three children you’re absolutely exhausted at the end of the day.

“When I did go the gym I was so tired and hungry and always stopped at the shop for a bun on the way home but all that’s changing now. I am so determined to get a bit of weight off and I’d be over the moon if the red team was to win.”

‘Ballymac’s Biggest Loser’ is managed by BHCP and is funded by Derry City Council’s Sports Development Unit.

BHCP Health Worker, Roxanne Nixon, said that when they first advertised the programme on Facebook they were inundated with enquiries.

“I can’t get over how popular this programme is. We had anticipated advertising it in the local papers but after putting it up on Facebook we had our quota filled within a few days.

“I think that January is a good time to organising something like this because the air is full of good intentions.

“The trash talk has already started and is flying between the four teams. The top five people to lose the most weight in the winning team win a cash prize each - the other people in the team will get vouchers for the gym at Templemore Sports Complex.

“I haven’t a clue which team will win but I know the craic will be brilliant and we’ve a big night out organised for everyone at the end of the ten weeks,” said Roxanne.

The Sunday Journal will return to talk to Melanie, Declan, Rosemarie and Aishlene at the end of the ten week programme to see how they got on.




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