Physios help military veterans compete for medals at Sporting Senior Games

Physiotherapists provided vital support to military veterans taking part in the Sporting Senior Games Glasgow on 30 September.

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Erksine head physio Janet Leith helps one of the competitors taking part in basketball

The games saw 10 teams of ex-service men and women compete in a range of sporting events. They included kurling, javelin, boccia bowls, basketball, static cycling and penalty shoot-outs.

All the competitors were residents of care homes run by Erskine, a Scottish charity that provides care for veterans.

Erskine’s head physiotherapist Janet Leith said: ‘The promotion of exercise and physical activity is one our priorities, because it contributes so much to the health and quality of life for our veterans, who are aged up to 103.’

The annual Sporting Senior Games have been running for five years and are jointly organised by Erskine and Glasgow Caledonian University.

Ms Leith said this year’s games were the biggest and best yet: ‘After months of training and preparation, the competition was fierce and medals closely fought and bravely won.

‘On the day, there was a real sense of moving forward in promoting physical activity for older people.

‘New teams joined us and demonstrated just how much benefit there is in being active into older age.

‘Many of the athletes did far more standing and walking than on an average day. But they still had the energy to participate in the musical entertainment at the end of a busy day.’

Alongside the support offered by physiotherapists, the veterans also received support from local students.

Dawn Skelton, professor of ageing and health at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: ‘More than 40 of our health students volunteered to help at this event and it highlights that active ageing makes all the difference to peoples’ lives.'

The games also included a team procession, complete with piper, and the handing over of the torch from the ‘Geri Olympics’ in Virginia, USA.

 

 

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by Robert Millett

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