Exercise group finds new base

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The gentle exercise programme run by Sport Waitaki and Age Concern has a new home.

Gentle exercise used to be based at the North Otago RSA on Itchen St, because of its level parking, easy access and decent-sized facilities, but when the RSA went into liquidation the future of the exercise group became uncertain.

February 3 was meant to be the date for the programme to resume, but without a permanent home it was delayed.

However, the programme can now resume, after the Orwell St Church fitted the bill and became the exercise group’s new home.

Gentle exercise committee member and participant Louisa Burrell said it was disappointing to no longer be at the RSA building.

“It is sad to not be based there any more. It was such a great location for the group, with parks right outside the hall and easy access in and out.”

Mrs Burrell said the group had plenty of memories there.

“It was a great place; we just really enjoyed it and could comfortably do exercise there on chairs for over 50 people and there was still space. It was a good place for socialising afterwards, with a kitchen handy for refreshments after the programme.”

Gentle exercise combines resistance exercises, Tai Chi and seated movements to improve balance, stability, strength and wellbeing.

The weekly activity sessions ensure attendees keep active, and maintain their health and well-being. A decrease in the number of falls, improved stamina, fitness and strength are reported as outcomes of the programme.

Sport Waitaki co-ordinator Kate Holland said it was great to see the programme had a new home.

“Gentle exercise is so important to the Waitaki District. In Oamaru alone we have around 60 attendees each Tuesday. The benefits of regular physical activity and social engagement for the older population are obvious.

“It is very important that this programme keeps going.”

By Brayden Lindsay

PHOTO: SUPPLIED РMembers of the Gentle Exercise group taking part in an activity. The group will now be based at the Orwell St Church.