London 2012 inspires older residents in Kirklees

Release Date: 16-Aug-2012
Residents from several Kirklees retirement living schemes have been joining in the spirit of the London 2012 Olympics with their own version of the games.
Joining in with the spirit of the Olympics at Gomersal cricket club

Joining in with the spirit of the Olympics at Gomersal cricket club

To get things started, a series of Wii sporting challenges were organised by KNH's older people’s activities coordinator, Carly Webster, at granges across the borough.

Participants from Brooklands in Bradley made the most of their home advantage, beating the residents of Edale Avenue in Newsome at Wii bowling. This was followed by a curling competition that saw 35 Brooklands residents taking part.

A three-way competition in north Kirklees saw residents from Denham Court in Batley take on their neighbours from Beaumont Court, also in Batley and Oxford Grange in Gomersal, with players from Beaumont and Denham finishing in equal first place.

The Olympic fortnight concluded with a multi-generational sports day held at Gomersal cricket club, hosted by Oxford Grange, with support from the local area committee. The event was attended by the Mayor, Cllr David Ridgway, representatives from the police, Age UK, Kirklees Active Leisure, and over 100 local people.

Activities included the granny dash, egg and spoon race, javelin and mini golf competition, and the award for best older sports person of the day went to Fran Sharp from Sykes Fold in Cleckheaton, who, just like Jessica Ennis, could turn her hand to all the events.

Pauline Carter from Oxford Grange said: “It was a brilliant day and it just proves that you are never too old to stop doing things.

“Everyone had a lovely time - it was great for different generations to come together and there was a real sense of community spirit. My granddaughter Megan has now been inspired to join a running club after coming first in the sprint race.”

The aim of the events was not only to celebrate the Olympics but also to encourage older people to stay active.

According to Carol Crossley, who manages KNH’s Older People’s Support Service, “Social activities for older residents are important as they help retain and improve both physical and mental health and well being.

“Having fun plays a big part in this, so we run these kinds of events regularly – but the recent events have been particularly popular because so many people have wanted to join in with the spirit of the Olympics.”

Cllr Molly Walton, the Cabinet member responsible for health, wellbeing and communities, said, “the aim of London 2012 was to inspire a generation – and they certainly have inspired this generation!

“These kinds of events are an excellent way of improving older people’s health and wellbeing and helping them live life to the full, which are key priorities for the council.”