Sport for all

“Come back and try things out on a quiet day,” said the manager at the leisure centre…

That invitation was made to a group of care home residents in Buckinghamshire as they enjoyed an Over 60s afternoon tea at the centre. Fast forward a few weeks to their return and scenes of them having a great time playing softball, badminton, table tennis and trying out the gym.

“A couple of the table tennis players were in wheelchairs and struggled with dexterity which meant the ball kept ending up in the net, so we removed it and suddenly we had a great game on our hands!” explains Liz Hawkes who helped organise the session.

In a way, that sums up the process of getting out into the community: find out what’s possible, try it and adapt as you go. One resident is now planning to use the gym to build her strength to stand up on her own again. She might not manage it, but until she had a go on the equipment she hadn’t even seen it as a goal.

A trip to the swimming pool is next on the list for the Bucks group. Do you know what your local leisure centre can offer to care home residents?

“This has just opened up my world”

                   Buckinghamshire care home resident, after a trip to the local leisure centre

Key points

The invitation to the group came out of a chance encounter – it was a spontaneous suggestion from a new community connection.

The leisure centre in Bucks said it had quiet time in the school holidays. Why not find out if that’s the same near you?

Transport costs are always an issue. How would you finance getting residents to and from a leisure centre?