Fun for older people in Peebles

Scottish Borders Council logo''April 2009
Scottish Borders Council logo''April 2009

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) is encouraging older adults in Tweeddale to make the most of the wide range of activities now on offer at the Peebles Community Centre on Friday afternoons.

The action packed sessions are being organised by SBC’s Community Capacity Building Team and staff from the Community Centre to provide people with an opportunity to meet up with like-minded people while getting some exercise, enjoying a good lunch or taking part in an indoor sport or game of their choice.

The sessions begin at 12noon with a 45 minute gentle exercise class delivered by a qualified FitBorders instructor. The exercises for both men and women are for all abilities and require no previous experience. They can be done seated or standing. Benefits include a more strengthened and toned body, increased flexibility and balance, improved posture and mobility as well as the chance to have fun and make new friends. Refreshments are available afterwards.

A light lunch is provided at 12.45pm. Popular menu choices include soup and sandwiches with heartier choices like macaroni cheese or stovies also on offer.

A drop-in session runs from 1-4pm with a wide range of activities on offer. From new age kurling through to pool, carpet bowls, table tennis, badminton, dominoes, board games, cribbage or jigsaws the choice is extensive and wide-ranging. People are also welcome to sit with a cup of tea or coffee and relax with a magazine or book, watching while others enjoy the more energetic pursuits.

The walking football session for over 50s runs from 3-4pm and is proving hugely popular with players of all ages, with pupils from the local high school coming along as volunteers and joining in the fun. The players follow the same rules as a normal game apart from the fact that they must walk instead of running.

This allows for different skills to be utilised such as agility, precision passing and skilled ball control. It is an ideal sport for people looking to improve their fitness and enjoy a game at a pace they find more suited to their needs.

Older People’s Champion, Councillor Willie Archibald (Tweeddale West) said: “There is no excuse now for any older adult living in the Tweeddale area to be at a loose end on a Friday afternoon. Whether you are looking for some exercise, a delicious lunch or a chance to relax and have a chat while others are more active, there really is something for everyone.

“The team work hard to make sure that what is on offer is what people want and I know they are currently looking to see if they can add arts and crafts to the already interesting and varied list. I also know that some of the games can become quite energetic, with healthy competition proving itself alive and well in Peebles. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t made it along yet to pop in and see what’s on offer - you are sure to have an enjoyable and highly worthwhile time.”

Gentle Exercise classes are also available on Monday afternoons in the Innerleithen Union Club from 1.45–2.30pm and on Wednesday mornings in the West Linton Bowling Club between 10.15-11am.

Hilary Bland has been attending the Innerleithen classes for the past 18 months. She said: “I started going to increase my fitness and maybe lose a little bit of weight and am delighted with the results that I’ve had. What I hadn’t expected was just how friendly everyone would be and the social benefits that I would also gain. We always have a cup of tea afterwards and catch up with each other so I’ve made new friends as well.”

Hilary has also started attending the Peebles classes, adding: “At both classes you can work at your own pace and fitness level and it’s hard not to enjoy yourself when everyone is so friendly and welcoming. The tutors are great, choosing music that really gets you going. The sessions are over before you know it, but you certainly feel the benefits and look forward to coming back the following week.”

To find out more about any of the activities that the Council’s Community Capacity Building Team organise, contact them at CommunityCapacity@scotborders.gov.uk or on 07827255093 or 07786477950.

They are also currently working with Borders Sport & Leisure Trust and Gala Fairydean Rovers Football Club to organise a walking football festival at the end of April. It is hoped that eight teams will be taking part, including one from neighbouring Midlothian. Further details will be available closer to the time, but contact the team with any queries in the meantime.