Hackney’s over 50s get into the Olympic spirit

Photo: Sam Foster

Alberto Fitzgerald may never make the podium when the Olympics come to London in 2012, but he will certainly be part of the winning spirit.

The 70-year-old from Hackney attended the New Age Games at Kings Hall Leisure Centre yesterday along with over 150 over-fifties.

With a range of activities such as archery, badminton and soca aerobics available for residents around the area, Mr. Fitzgerald said: “Its very nice, very easy to meet people and keep fit”.

The event, organized by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Committee, gives older residents the opportunity to sign up to activities throughout the year.

Councillor Guy Nicholson said: “The New Age Games are a great opportunity for older people to keep fit, try different sporting and leisure activities and meet new friends.”

Funding for the scheme has been secured for the next two years and David Toombs, one of the organizers, said, “It is important that this becomes sustainable. Sometimes the older generation are forgotten”.

Hackney’s Ambassador for the games, and multiple Olympic medal winner, Dervish Konuralp, said the Olympics are “not just for youth [and] its important to have a tangible link between the Games and community”.

Lisa Meafield, 60, a Hackney resident said: “it is very nice to have a chance to meet people and get involved”.

Jean March, 62, from Hackney was also enthusiastic saying: “It’s a good way to help prevent heart conditions”.

Lucia Dias, a health trainer for the Complementary Therapy Charity in Hoxton, echoed the importance of health and well being for over-fifties. She said the event was important to, “help any lifestyle changes, well being and health”.

For more information on activities for older people in Hackney, please contact the Community Resource Team on 020 7275 7092.

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