Inspired by the success of Team GB’s Olympic athletes in Rio de Janeiro, forty residents of specialist care village, Belong Atherton in Greater Manchester, recreated their own ‘Olympic games’ in the form of a multi-event sports day, featuring events as varied as beanbag throwing, hula-hooping, tennis, and perennial favourite, the egg and spoon race.
Gold medal winners included; 92 year old Tyldsley household beanbag thrower; Mary Robinson, 87 year old experience day customer; Mary- Anne James, who excelled in the tennis match; 73 year old Astley household resident, Jean Woodward who showed off her skills in the penalty shootout; and 76 year old Caleb-Wright household resident David Speak, who came first in the egg and spoon race.
The event was also used to promote the benefits of exercise for older people and encouraged team spirit amongst residents and offered a further benefit to the residents of being a ‘reminiscent tool’, helping residents to remember fond memories of sports days that they had taken part in when they were younger. Reminiscence therapy has been shown to be particularly beneficial for people living with dementia, stimulating cognitive ability as well as being therapeutic.
Belong Atherton made the most of the Olympic spirit, encouraging staff members and residents to decorate households in accordance with the theme of the day. Astley Household was awarded a prize for being the ‘best dressed’ household.
The sports day took place in glorious sunshine in the Belong Atherton gardens, with residents enjoying a refreshments buffet along the way.
Activity coordinator at Belong Atherton, Gemma Willetts, said: “The sports day was great- participants got very involved with all of the activities. The day helped customers to remember sports that they had previously played and some even taught our staff members how to hoola hoop!”