A University of Bath student is hosting a mini-Olympic Games for older people in Bath as part of her studies into active ageing.
Charis McKenna, a Coach Education & Sports Development undergraduate from the Department of Education came up with the idea for the event after speaking to residents of the Bridgemead Nursing Home in Bath about their views of the Games and sport in general.
She found that many of the residents were excited by the Olympics and had a sense of pride that the University of Bath was playing a part by hosting the Paralympic preparation camp as well as offering a base for many of the competing athletes.
Charis decided to organise the event, which will be held on 26 June, so that the residents could feel more involved in the Games.
She said: “I wanted to challenge the perception that sport is for young, athletic people. There is a lot of focus on getting young people moving in order to tackle childhood obesity but 2012 is also the European year of active ageing and solidarity between generations and I wanted to engage with older people’s views on sport.
“The Olympic Charter says that ‘the practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport in accordance with his or her needs’, but some people can be marginalised.
“The people I spoke to expressed a lot of interest in the Games and thought it was great that the University was playing a part.”
The event will include archery, lifting and throwing games and table tennis.
All of the residents are invited to take part along with their families and nurses.The home will be decorated with Olympic rings and torches and the residents will be presented with medals and certificates by twice GB Bob Skeleton Winter Olympian Adam Pengilly, who trains at the University of Bath.
Charis said: “The idea of active aging is not so much about the health benefits of exercising, although I am sure there are some, but about having fun and encouraging older people stay active.”