Old and young get walking at Welwyn Hatfield schools
PUBLISHED: 13:36 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:37 16 May 2018
Herts County Council
Pupils at Welwyn Hatfield primary schools are getting active with the elderly, proving that whatever your age, it’s never too late to get fit.
Kicking off a series of events at Welwyn Hatfield primary schools, pupils from Oaklands Primary in Welwyn invited their grandparents and elderly family friends and neighbours to join them on their “daily mile” walk on May 9.
Holy Family Catholic primary and Homerswood primary in Welwyn Garden City, as well as North Mymms St Mary’s are also getting in on the act.
The event at Oaklands launched Herts County Council’s “It’s Never Too Late to be Active” campaign, which provides resources and encouragement to help Hertfordshire stay fit.
Bridget Richardson was at Oaklands Primary to support her grandson William.
She said: “We joined in today to get a little bit fitter and hopefully I’ll continue to do so!”
William added: “I enjoyed it today because I enjoyed seeing my grandma get fit!”
Jill was joined in with her granddaughter Grace.
She said: “Grace thought it was hilarious when she came home and knew that she could take an older person to school to do the daily mile, but we often go walking together because we live near a big park and we like walking.
“I think the “Never Too Late” campaign is a good idea because a lot of people don’t get out.
“It’s good because when people are lonely it will help them meet people and also be good for their health.”
Jack brought along his father Rob, who said: “I thought today’s event was excellent, Jack and I both enjoyed ourselves, especially all the high-fiving and encouragement from Jack’s classmates.”
Hertfordshire County Council’s director of public health, Jim McManus, said: “We know that children are the best inspiration to motivate older adults to be more active, so we are very grateful to the schools and young people who are helping us launch our “Never Too Late” campaign.
The campaign forms part of Herts County Council’s Year of Physical Activity, cheered along by the mascot Yopa the stag.
According to the council, physical inactivity costs the Hertfordshire health economy more than £16million a year and is the fourth greatest cause of death and disability, causing one in six deaths in the UK.
Yet one in four Hertfordshire residents does less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, and many more are not meeting national guidelines of 150 minutes a week.
Jim McManus said: “Being active is nature’s prescription as it has so many physical and mental health benefits whatever our age; yet a quarter of 55-64 year olds are completely inactive and over 40% are not meeting the recommended guidelines of 150 minutes activity a week.
“These figures are much higher for those aged 65 plus.”
All residents who sign up for “It’s Never Too Late To Be Active” receive a local activity pass offering free taster sessions of a range of activities for themselves and a friend, as well as personalised support and entry into a prize draw for an iPad, Fitbit or £100 clothing voucher.