Bield tenants carry the torch for West Lothian

Canalympics 1Tenants at a retirement housing development in West Lothian have gone for gold at a popular local sporting event for care services, the CANalympics.

The energetic team from Bield’s Ochilview Court, in Armadale, participated in the event, which is now in its fifth year and is run by the West Lothian Care Activity Network (CAN).

The CANalympics, which has been hugely successful over the past four years, is held annually at Broxburn Sports Centre and this was the first time that the Bield Ochilview Court tenants had taken part.

By running the event, West Lothian Care Activity Network aim to encourage older people within local care settings (care homes, day care, sheltered housing and care at home) to increase their physical activity levels and meet with other tenants in the local area.

This year saw another fantastic turnout, with 190 people forming 13 teams and competing in a variety of Olympic-style activities, including new-age kurling, skittles, pairing socks and hook the duck.

The 13 participating teams were piped in, each holding a flag to represent their development and Gary Copeland, a popular local entertainer, provided musical entertainment throughout the day.

All participants were presented the participants with medals and the end of the day, with bronze, silver and gold trophies awarded to the winning teams.

MabelAnne Fraser, development manager at Ochilview Court, said: “This was the first time we had taken part in the CANalympics and the tenants had such a fantastic time.

“A couple of the team members were a bit nervous to begin with but the event is very well organised and caters to all needs, including seated activities for those who are no longer as mobile as they once were.

“It is a really effective way to bring everyone in the local community together and for the tenants meet up and chat with those from other developments in the area. It also highlights the importance of exercise for people of all ages and encourages the tenants to keep physically active and have fun while they do it.

“The tenants kept their medals on for almost a week after and we are already looking forward to taking part again next year.”

Linda Middlemist, team manager for health improvement from West Lothian Council, said: “This year was brilliant and everyone had an absolute ball. It is great to see how much enthusiasm the competitors had and how much they enjoyed the event from the competition itself to the tea dance after.

“Evidence shows that daily physical activity has a positive impact on people’s wellbeing and can reduce the risk of developing some conditions such as heart disease, stroke and dementia and that strengthening muscles aids mobility and helps to reduce the risk of falls and osteoporosis, which can often be common in later life. By holding the annual fun CANalympic events like this, we hope to encourage older people across a range of care settings to keep active.”

Chair of West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP), Councillor Frank Toner, added: “The success of the event year-on-year demonstrates that with the right support and encouragement, everyone can be physically active in ways which benefit their health and wellbeing.”


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