The Otagothon 2012 Challenge was issued by Later Life Training to Otago Exercise Leaders and their groups in the UK as a means of involving their participants in the unique opportunities in 2012 to celebrate Active Ageing and participation in physical activity. The Challenge took place across the UK and was timed to coincide with the 8th World Congress on Active Ageing being held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow from the 13th – 17th August 2012.
The purpose of the Otagothon 2012 Challenge was three-fold:
1. To increase the number of older people (aged 65+) involved in strength and balance classes and activities, by joining an Otago Exercise Programme.
2. To allow Otago group participants to celebrate their progress, achievements and participation in physical activity.
3. To highlight the importance of regular strength and balance training and walking for older people as the key to promoting independence in later life and reducing falls.
And the winners were:
Large organisations category
1st Prize Forth Valley NHS and partners.
An Active Ageing day for the over 50’s at the Peak Sports village in Stirling. The day began at 10am and went on until 3pm. Participants registered for activities throughout the day. Tai Chi, Pilates, OTAGO, chair-aerobics, line dancing and Zumba Gold. Health walks were also arranged at Stirling University campus; transport was provided by Clackmannan council.
Around the perimeter of the hall information stalls were set with information on local activities, falls prevention and bone health. NOS had a stall and there was also a tele-care stall. In addition a parallel event was held in Callander where an OTAGO session took place for a smaller group of frail elderly people. These participants also were supplied with T shirts and water.
Submitted by Lesley Yarrow on behalf of all partners.
2nd Prize Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust
Falls, Otago participants and residents from Wigan and Leigh Housing schemes ntook part in their Otagothon 2012 Challenge using Lytham seafront and Lowther Park. Involving 100 participants who were involved in a walk from the Windmill on Lytham promenade to Lowther Park where they participated in an outdoor Tai Chi session
Submitted by Gill Healy, Active Living Team, Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust.
Small organisations category
1st prize Dorset Integrated Community Teams
The Falls Lead for Dorset Healthcare had encouraged the Integrated Community Teams in Dorset to take up the Otagothon Challenge in August. It was decided to give the day of the event – which would normally see participants attending for their weekly ‘Better Balance Group’- an Olympic theme. The Falls Lead was able to provide an Olympic torch for the event as her mum had been a torch bearer in Blandford. The room was decorated with flags, balloons and Olympic rings made from exercise rings. One of the teams’ daughters even got involved by designing a ‘Get Up and Go’ poster which included the Olympic mascots.
The ‘athletes’ dressed up in their best red, white and blue for the occasion and arrived looking very colourful and patriotic. Each person received a team GB cap and took their seats in the ‘Stadium’, started at the bell by the Chariots of Fire music as the Olympic Torch arrived and was passed around all the athletes. Events began with a warm up including seated swimming, discus throw, canoeing and weight lifting for the upper body and cycling and kick boxing for the legs.
Next came some standing and balance work with the theme of rhythmic gymnastics using ribbons, rings and balls. The events then began in earnest with a circuit of sports including:
- cycling – seated using pedals to the floor
- weight lifting- a walking stick with a balloon on either end
- javelin- a soft, long swim float thrown down the corridor
- shot putt- aiming into a box
- fencing – challenging standing balance whilst reaching and stepping forwards
- boxing- seated and standing boxing with a balloon
- gymnastics- a red tape balance beam to the floor
Entry submitted by Sherborne – Maggie Wood, Physiotherapist and Christina Duarte-Eades, Otago Exercise Leader.
2nd prize Heart 2 Heart, Alloa
Another great Olympic style event at Heart 2 Heart Cardiac Rehab Class in Alloa. Juliet introduced the class to Otago exercises that they could do at home to improve their balance and reduce their risk of falls.
Not only did they get an introduction to the Otago exercises, but the group also played shot put, marathon, bean bag throwing and a basketball competition. Read more about the Heart 2 Heart fun day here.
Entry submitted by Juliet Harvey, Alloa Heat 2 Heart.
Well done to all, we hope they enjoy their free training and Otago DVD’s – and hope to see some more entries for the 2013 challenge 🙂