Ageing Better Middlesbrough and Everyone Active teamed up on Saturday, October 29 to host a free 50+ Sports Day at Middlesbrough Sports Village. Over 30 people attended, including members from The Over Fifties Youth Club (TOFY Club).

The event was for everyone aged 50 and over living in Middlesbrough to come along and have fun whilst trying out activities – and they did just that!

John Atkinson, Community Action Officer at Ageing Better Middlesbrough says: “We are very proud of Middlesbrough and everyone who is ‘Ageing Better’ with us. We wanted to inspire people 50 and over to get involved and hopefully find a new interest hobby.

“It’s fantastic to have a state of the art sports village on our doorstep. People tried sports like javelin and shot put that they’d not done since school. TOFY Club is an exceptional example that age is no barrier to taking part in sport. We are talking to England Netball about setting up regular walking netball sessions in Middlesbrough soon.”

The day was a success and brought people together to enjoy sports including: 100 metre sprint, javelin, discus, shot put, long jump, gentle cycling, walking netball and table tennis.

Donald Rycroft, who is turning 82 in November, thoroughly enjoyed the day and said:

“Look at me, knowing my age – you can do it too! Come along and give it a try.” Donald attends the TOFY Club at the Southlands Centre along with over 150 men who get together for exercise and a good laugh.

Billy Charville, 67, Vice Chair of TOFY Club said: “As well as getting people out the house it’s the camaraderie of the group and meeting new people. It’s the crack we have, it’s good fun. We’ve had a great day today.

“Some of the men at the club say they go to the doctors less. We’ve took a weight off the NHS. At the TOFY Club we have social events and men 50 or over are welcome to join.”

Five people won a free month membership for their sporting skills on the day which they can use at all the Everyone Active gyms across Middlesbrough.

Richard Buckley, Duty Manager at Middlesbrough Sports Village said: “Everyone Active Middlesbrough Sports Village were really pleased to host the 50+ sports day, it was great to see so many of the group having such a good time and trying sports out that they may not of had a chance to before.”

Chris Tomlinson, retired three-time Olympian, was at the Sports Village on the day and said: “It’s a good place to meet people. Sport is a great way to do something healthy.”

Ageing Better Middlesbrough, a Big Lottery Funded programme, is working to reduce loneliness and social isolation for people 50 and over in our town.

If you’d like to join as a member to find out about activities and groups in your area call 01642 257034, email info@ageingbettermiddlesbrough.org.uk or visit our website to join us www.ageingbettermiddlesbrough.org.uk