Care home residents boxing clever as they train for their own Olympics

·2-min read

Care home residents are picking up their boxing gloves as the train for their own version of the Olympics.

With just weeks to go before the Tokyo 2020 games get underway, 15 care homes in Scotland are competing against each other in five specially designed sports.

As well as trying to land the most punches on boxing pads, they are substituting a bean bag for a shot put, and recording who can complete the most 400m stints in July either on foot or by wheelchair.

The other sports include their own version of Olympic golf in a nine-hole pitch and putt, and seated volleyball using a balloon.

Margaret McNicol (80) and Deputy Manager Rachael Hope sporting Team Jesmond t-shirts
Margaret McNicol, 80, and deputy manager Rachael Hope sporting Team Jesmond T-shirts (Renaissance Care/PA)

Residents have been in training throughout June before the opening ceremonies held at each home.

They will compete throughout July before a closing ceremony at the end of the month.

Elsie Connell, 87, who lives at Renaissance Care Jesmond Care Home in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, said: “I would have never thought I would be boxing at this age, but after trying it, I am really enjoying it and have seen some improvement already.

“It’s great to be up and moving and all having a good laugh together – we are one big team here, so we’ve all been supporting each other, although a bit of competitive spirit has been keeping us all very motivated.

“I can’t wait for the competition and closing ceremonies – I’m going for gold.”

Elsie Connell
Elsie Connell, 87, packs the punches with Lee McAllister at Jesmond Care Home in Bridge of Don (Renaissance Care/PA)

Nancy Weir, 85, resident at Renaissance Care Croftbank House in Uddingston, South Lanarkshire, said: “It’s been brilliant fun getting ready for our very own Olympics, and if the opening ceremony is anything to go by, the event itself will be a blast.

She added: “I felt honoured to carry the Olympic torch, and a wee glass of prosecco made it even more special.”

Renaissance Care operations director, Yvonne Mackenzie, said holding their own version of the Olympics “felt like the perfect way to bring everyone together”.

She said: “Encouraging physical activity for our residents is extremely important and we really wanted to create something fun that would get everyone involved.

“The residents across each of the homes have been enjoying the training and we have already seen a great lift in spirits as they get in touch with their competitive side.”

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