Entries have opened for the 3rd annual Suffolk Care Home Olympics.

The purpose of the competition is to give care home residents a fun and enjoyable experience of sport whilst also highlighting the importance of physical activity within social care settings.

Residents of Childwick House in Newmarket are set to defend their crown, in what is expected to be a hotly contested competition. Organisers, Elatus Sports and Suffolk County Council, are expecting around 40 care homes to take part.

Speaking after lifting the 2017 title Cheryl Shuttlewood, the Activities Co-ordinator at Childwick House, said “We are delighted to have become Suffolk Care Home Olympics Champions. We’ve had so much fun and have thoroughly enjoyed the competition. We are already looking forward to defending our title next time round.”

Last year 300 residents, up to the age of 102 years, in 29 care settings across Suffolk competed in 3 sports (Boccia, fishing and curling) over the autumn and winter months with participants reporting some positive impacts.

John, aged 90, from Barham Residential Care Home, commented “These sessions make you come alive a bit” whilst 97-year old Edna from Uvedale Hall said “The sessions make everyone more friendly, and it helps me to talk to other people”.

Cllr James Reeder, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, said “Regular physical activity has a positive benefit no matter what age or stage of life you’re at, whether that’s feeling fitter, socialising, or just having fun.

“The Chief Medical Officer is very clear that older adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits, including maintaining good physical and cognitive function. Some physical activity is better than none, and more physical activity provides greater health benefits.

“The competition is a lot of fun and with Suffolk’s older population expected to rise significantly over the next 20 years or so initiatives like this are really important to our ambition of becoming the Most Active County in England.”

Care homes wishing to take part in the 2018 Suffolk Care Home Olympics should register their interest with Matt Abbott at Elatus Sports by Friday 28th September at matt@elatussports.co.uk. The 2018 competition will start in October.

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