Celebrating Older Persons' Day

Elmbridge Borough Council in partnership with Places Leisure were delighted to offer residents the opportunity to take up free exercise sessions at Elmbridge Xcel leisure complex in Walton-on-Thames on 1 October to celebrate international ‘Older Persons’ Day’. 

In the course of the afternoon, participating residents were able to try cardiac exercise circuits, a strength and balance class, an indoor cycling class, walking football, walking netball and swimming. Free walking rugby was available at Esher Rugby Club as well as a strength and balance class, specifically designed for residents with reduced mobility, at the Hersham centre for the community. An Elmbridge wellbeing walk on the Thames towpath was also on the programme. 

The aim of these free sessions, which coincided with the launch of our new Physical Activity Strategy, was to introduce residents to different types of group exercise to help them with a health condition or simply to encourage them to become more active. The exercises on offer were designed to improve both their physical and mental wellbeing regardless of age, personal circumstances or abilities. 

The Mayor of Elmbridge, Councillor Tony Popham, met the Walking Football team during their training and spent a few minutes on the pitch with them for a kickabout. He also took a tour of the activities on offer, met the walking netball team and the participants at the strength and balance exercise class. 

Cllr Janet Turner, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said, “With the Covid pandemic, many local people have been isolated, often living with a pre-existing health condition, or brought-on by Covid. The free sessions at Xcel gave them the opportunity to discover something different and meet new people. In addition to the physical benefits of exercise, they had the opportunity to share the experience with others. For some, it was their first taste of a walking sport or cardiac or indoor cycling exercise. We are hoping that these classes and walking sports will go from strength to strength in the future and encourage people to become more active, whatever their age and abilities’ 

Councillor Richard Williams, Portfolio Holder for Social Affairs, said, “It was great to see the free exercise sessions well attended at Xcel. We are committed to supporting community-based health initiatives and are looking forward to partnering with Places for People and the Xcel leisure complex to start new strength and balance classes at our local centres for the community. These classes are ideal for residents with reduced mobility. We are hoping they will benefit our regular customers and new visitors who will also have access to our wide range of services.” 

Dave Jones, Xcel Leisure Complex General Manager, said “I was pleased to see residents having a go at our free taster sessions. As well as relaunching our successful GP referral scheme which has helped many Elmbridge patients over the years, we have recently put in place a new COVID Recovery programme.  This programme offers specific support and advice to people who suffer a variety of mid to long-term effects brought-on by the pandemic. The programme is easily accessible and aims to assist those suffering the effects of Long covid by getting back to normal everyday life.  We would encourage anyone suffering with the effects of Long COVID to contact us for further information and to access our 1:1 support pathway.” 

Further information on our Community Support Services

You can read our full 'Getting Elmbridge Moving' strategy.

Date published: 8 October 2021

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