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A Day in the Career of… Katie Ryan, Co-Founder of WellFest

WellFest, Ireland’s largest health, fitness and wellness festival returns to Dublin from May 12-13th. The line-up this year includes Davina McCall, Joe Wicks and Deliciously Ella.

Catering for all levels of fitness, the event hosts workout classes, nutrition and healthy eating events, and a Wellkids area offering Zumba and yoga classes to keep little ones occupied while you take some inspiration from performance coaches and yogis.

Katie Ryan Co-Founded the event alongside her sister Helena and friends Fionnuala Cleary and Anthony Kelly in 2015. Katie talks to The Daily Slog about planning one of the largest wellness events in Ireland alongside her day job as a Medical Sales Rep for Novartis.


What time do you usually get up and how do you start your day? 

I usually get up around 7.15am. I always start my day with a pint of warm water followed by a nespresso coffee. Breakfast is a priority for me and it is usually a smoothie or overnight oats for the road!


How did the idea for the WellFest event come about?

My sister Helena Ryan, and our business partner Fionnualla Kelly, came up with the idea of creating a health and fitness festival, with the feel of a music festival, one day in work and they then came to me with the idea. We are all passionate about health and fitness and it was a project that was really exciting to us.  We then sat down with Anthony and planned out the first event which was held in September 2015.


How do you find time to fit in planning the event alongside your day job? 

This year we have expanded the WellFest team, which has been amazing for the event and all our time! I tend to keep my WellFest jobs for the evenings, as I don’t want it to interfere with my day job. I think prioritizing and being organised helps with managing time.


How do you motivate yourself on days when your energy levels are lower?

It can be hard to motivate yourself when energy levels are low especially if you are tired. I try and take breaks and get fresh air to help with my concentration, a quick walk can be great for the mind. I try not to drink too much coffee but sometimes needs must!


What’s the best bit of advice you’ve been given in your career?

Work hard and be open to new opportunities.


What can people expect from WellFest this year?

This year WellFest has changed location to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. The festival is set to have 12 stages this time around, with an incredible line up including our headliners Davina McCall and Joe Wicks, aka the Body Coach.

Ticket holders will have unlimited access to activities taking place at different stages around the festival, so you can take part in classes for spinning, yoga, pilates, meditation and more. There’s also an area for kids, and a brand new WellMum stage for all the new parents out there.


How do you unwind & de-stress at the end of the day and during difficult periods?

I usually go to the gym, or do a yoga class in the evenings after work. I also think rest and Netflix is equally important for the mind and body!



Here’s a taste of what you can expect at Wellfest 2018:


WellYoga is an area dedicated to a practice that joins the body and mind with a special focus on the power of breathe. Join a number of world renowned yogis such as Patrick Beach and GypsyOn as they take you through their unique sequences. This area is open to beginners and regular practicing yogis. Come, join in and all breathe as one.


WellFood in association with SuperValu is an area dedicated to wholesome food and live cooking demonstrations. Over the weekend, leading nutritionists and popular foodies such as Deliciously Ella, Rhiannon Lambert, The Doctor’s Kitchen, Happy Pear and Roz Purcell will lead cooking demonstrations, sharing their nutrition knowledge and food hacks along the way.


Aura Leisure will host a programme of fun fitness classes across the weekend including HIIT and Pump from top fitness trainers from their leisure centres and gyms around the country. They will also host some of Wellfest’s biggest headliners for fitness sessions.


WellSoul in association with Brahma Kumaris is focused on the power of meditation. Take some time to yourself over the weekend by visiting WellSoul. Learn key meditation tips and be part of serveral guided meditations that put you in touch with your inner resources.


The new WellMum area will have a dedicated programme of pregnancy and parenting-focused content curated by The Stork Box over the two days of WellFest. Activities on offer will include baby yoga, antenatal Pilates, infant nutrition and sleeping sessions, as well as tips on health, fitness and wellness during pregnancy, post-partum and in baby’s first year. 

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