South and Vale team show age is no barrier to fun and fitness
A team from South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse represented their districts when competing against 120 over 55-year-olds at the 2016 Better Club Games, an Olympic-style event for older people that was held at the Windrush Leisure Centre on Saturday 21 May.
The inaugural event was run by the UK’s largest public leisure provider Better, the consumer facing brand of charitable social enterprise GLL. It was hosted for the first time Windrush Leisure Centre in Witney. The event aimed to encourage older people to become more active and to highlight the social and physical benefits that sporting activities can offer to individuals of all ages.
Participants took part in six sports including walking football, badminton, short tennis, table tennis, timed swim and pickleball.
Proudly representing their districts the eight teams competing hailed from the south east and midlands districts of Chiltern, South Bucks, Reading, West Oxfordshire, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, Swindon, and Rugby.
The winning team from Reading claimed their first title, with South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse gaining second place and West Oxfordshire coming in third.
Jamie Coleshill Regional Director at GLL the charitable social enterprise that operates Better leisure centres, opened the event.
Jamie Coleshill, Regional Director at GLL, said: “As GLL is the UK’s leading charitable leisure social enterprise we are proud to run the Better Games to celebrate the benefits of physical activity and active lifestyles across all our UK partnerships - whatever your age!”
Councillor Paul Harrison, Vice Chairman of South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “One of a main priorities is to encourage people to be more active. Events like this really help, giving people of all ages a chance to try competitive sport and represent their community.
Councillor Mike Badcock, Chairman of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “I’m pleased for the South and Vale team, they all seemed to be having a good time when we caught up with them and to come second in this inaugural event, including winning the walking football and badminton, was very impressive and a real bonus for our community.”
A special thank you to all the competitors that represented Team South and Vale; Anne Pullin, Simon Ratiff, David Lawrence, Elisa Snook, Jeff Lester, Georgina Lewington, Patrica Roberts, Raymond May Iryna Klobzar, Chris Lawrence, Martin Stenzhorn, Nick Neil, Peter Cannon, Gill Smith, Brian Hook, Ana Fiocco, Gilberto Fiocco, Jim Stagg, Tim Waite, Philip Milton, Steve Willis, Russell Lewis, Bernard Jennings and Paul Sexton.