Low impact sporting activities for older men are now being offered monthly in Blairgowrie Recreation Centre.
The next session is on Tuesday, February 12, from 6.30pm-8pm, and activities include walking football, indoor golf, indoor curling, table tennis and boccia.
The project, organised by Perth and Kinross Council’s cultural and community services department, the NHS’s Healthy Community Collaborative (HCC) and Strathmore Dementia Service (SDS), was set up at the end of last year and has proved to be popular.
PKC community capacity worker John Corrigan said: “The idea initially came from the fact that many older men, maybe recovering from illness or injury – or maybe just out of the habit of exercising – find it more difficult to get back into doing any sort of activities.
“We all know the health and fitness benefits of exercise but other benefits, such as reducing social isolation, are also very important.
“Sports services are generally not aimed at this age group, and it is difficult for older men in particular to take part in team activities, so we thought we would try providing some low impact sport for older guys in East Perthshire and see if there was much demand for it.
“Working with people such as Craig Finlayson from SDS, Jackie Doe from HCC, and Garry Hutton from Strathmore Centre for Youth Development, we held a couple of events before Christmas and they went very well.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the help from Strathmore Day Opportunites and the local SSVP in making this happen. Feedback from the first events was positive with over a dozen men turning up each time.”
Bob Ellis, convener of the Sport and Active Recreation Forum, was quick to back the project.
He said: “The idea for sporting activities for men of 50 and over is a great one, and I congratulate John Corrigan and the team for coming up with it.
“Last year was exciting, with all the events pertaining to the Olympics making an impact on some people’s lives. Many people watching the games on television would start thinking ‘I can do that’. But then it’s, ‘what kit do I need, do I want to go out on my own, where can I go, how do I get myself fit enough?’
“This is a chance to get that info - and to take part in some fun activities and get fit at the same time.
“These are exactly the type of activities that everyone involved with the recreation forum likes to see start up. Being active can help in many ways – it can help you live longer, stay healthy, meet people of the same age, the list goes on.”
Future sessions will take place on Tuesday, March 12, and Tuesday, April 16. There is also a daytime session on Thursday, February 21, from 1.30pm-3pm.
For more details, contact John at Alyth Community Wing on 01250 871351.