The thwack of ping pong ball against racquet must be a familiar sound at the Sportspark in Norwich. And yet once a month there’s a session which doesn’t just involve any old game of table tennis: as the players could be elderly, living with dementia or other illnesses.
We all know (or are often reminded) that leading a physically active lifestyle is good for you, whatever your age, but it can have a particularly significant impact on the wellbeing of older people. The new Sportspark Activity Group offers a friendly drop in session for those living with dementia or other illnesses – and their carers – where they can chat over a cup of coffee and try their hand at a few activities if they wish, including table tennis.
Tennis, boccia, curling, golf and more.. no more excuses
There’s been research exploring the benefits that table tennis therapy could have for those living with on-set Alzheimer’s, and Trudy Deacon, who runs the group, says that the Sportspark is looking into introducing a dementia friendly table tennis table. ‘It should be here in the next couple of months,’ she says. But there’s also short tennis, Boccia, new age curling, indoor golf, dance and stretching for health, on offer at the special once a month session.
The activity group is beginning to attract interest. No experience or equipment is necessary, car parking is free and there are several disabled bays, plus there is no charge for the first session so people are welcome to go along and meet the team. Each session is £1.50 after this (carers go free). Trudy is looking forward to welcoming more attendees this month, and says: ‘The Sportspark is a fantastic facility, is totally inclusive, for everyone in the community whatever their ability or disability.’
- The sessions run from 11.15am until 1pm on the fourth Tuesday of every month.
- The next sessions are April 25; May 23; June 27; July 25; August 22; September 26; October 24; November 28
For further information, call Gemma or Claire on 01603 591261 or email email@example.com