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Governing bodies adapted sports for older people
Adapted sports to tackle inactivity and loneliness
The national bodies for volleyball, weightlifting, orienteering and boccia have launched revamped versions of their sports, in order to attract people aged over 55, and encourage them into physical activity and healthy competition.
The initiative has come about in partnership with Oomph! Wellness, who specialise in improving the health of older adults. They have a national plan to get 27,000 older adults doing regular, fun exercise within two years.
“By ‘gamifying’ exercise for older adults we’re making it fun and sociable rather than functional. We already use sports rather than pure exercise to motivate previously reluctant participants to join our classes on a regular basis. However, this new combination of Oomph!’s expertise with the appeal and competitive edge of professional sports bodies, is game-changing.”
Peter Hart, CEO of British Orienteering commented:
“At British Orienteering we are proud to be a sport that encompasses a wide age group, we have active members in their 90s, but working with Oomph! is the first time we have adapted many of our introductory activities to work with inactive older adults. It’s my belief that orienteering can offer older adults a fantastic mix of physical and mental exercise by adapting the challenge to suit their abilities.”
Gillian Harrison, Technical and Talent Coordinator at Volleyball England:
“We are always keen for people to join the volleyball family because we know that everyone can get involved and benefit socially and physically – volleyball is the sport for everybody. Sitting Volleyball is one of the disciplines of volleyball which is already popular and a great chance for players with and without a disability to play together. So, we jumped at the chance to work with the experts at Oomph! to provide an adapted form of the game for the older age group. Their knowledge of how older adults could benefit from an active lifestyle made it easy to develop the concept of armchair volleyball.”
Zoe Metcalfe Head of Workforce at British Weight Lifting:
“British Weight Lifting is delighted to partner with Oomph! on this exciting new initiative. This is the first time that weight lifting has been adapted to this age group and we have developed an innovative programme that is engaging and fun.”
Sport England has put tackling inactivity at the heart of its strategy and launched the Active Ageing fund to tackle inactivity in the over 55s.
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