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Public Encouraged to Get Fit in the New Year with Community Scheme

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Today is the day when most New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside, but the University of Worcester is encouraging people not to throw in the towel and instead get involved with its community physical activity and sport scheme for older people.

Weekly fitness classes for men and women over the age of 60, run at the University of Worcester Arena, Riverside and McClelland Centres, form just one of a number of community outreach schemes at the University.

Sessions offer strength and conditioning and aerobic exercises, supervised by university staff and students. The Friday morning men’s fitness sessions attract more than 30 participants each week, offering a circuit of different activities including cycling, step ups and free weight exercises. Around 40 ladies attend a Wednesday morning class.

Once physical activity levels improve, participants are also encouraged to engage in a range of adapted sports.

University strength and conditioning coach Marc Scriven said: “We are hoping to get more people involved and increase awareness of these physical activity sessions, which have already resulted in significant health gains for many attendees. In the New Year, many of us may be making resolutions to get fitter, so what better way to fulfil that resolution?”

The sessions also give undergraduate and postgraduate sport coaches and fitness instructors to practice and develop their applied industry skills in a supervised context.

“The sessions are of mutual benefit to the public and students,” added Mr Scriven.

“It gives older adults the chance to keep in shape and improve their health while giving students valuable applied experience in strength and conditioning with a broader client base, which can only increase their employability.”

Graham Brixey, 60, of Worcester, who has been coming for the last six years, said: “It’s excellent. It’s made a big difference to my life. I retired about six years ago and immediately put on a stone.

“I lost a little bit myself and noticed an advert in the paper for it. I came along and now I’m three stone lighter mainly due to this.”

Danny Bowcutt, 68, of Worcester, said: “I think it’s brilliant. This is my fifth year since I started and I have noticed a big difference. I have lost a lot of weight, almost two stone.

“It makes you do other things as well. The more you do the more you feel able to do.

“Everybody helps everybody else and it’s good for socialising.”

Anyone interested in getting involved in the men’s sessions can contact Mr Scriven on m.scriven@worc.ac.uk or for the women’s sessions email Dr Susie Hart s.hart@worc.ac.uk.