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Published in Sports Management Jan Feb 2017 issue 129
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Age is no barrier to participating in sport

Steve Hampson,

Head of Innovation and Programmes,

Age UK


We were delighted to see the importance of inclusive physical activity for older people highlighted in Liz Terry’s editor’s letter in Sports Management (October 2016).

Exercise is good for physical and mental health, whatever your age, but it’s especially important as we get older. Exercise can build confidence and improve wellbeing, help older people to live independently for longer, and reduce isolation and loneliness. However, there is often a lack of choice of physical activities for older disabled people or providers may not have the training or confidence to work with them.

Over the years, Age UK has run a number of programmes to encourage older people to make friends, have fun and stay active. It’s not just about helping those who want to do more, it’s about finding those who are most inactive and often most isolated, and helping them to enjoy the joy of movement too, however limited.

Walking-football and other walking sports (such as netball and cricket) are a great new way of reintroducing older people to involvement in sports. Some of our local Age UK teams around the country have even made it to the Football League Trust’s Walking Football Cup finals!

If people would like to know what is going on in their area they should contact their local Age UK or you can find out more information at www.fitasafiddle.org.uk.

While some older people run marathons, others may need encouragement to try new sports and activities
While some older people run marathons, others may need encouragement to try new sports and activities
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