A project helping to improve the lives of older people living in care homes in Perth and Kinross has won the sportscotland Coaching For An Active Life award 2019.
The Care About Walking project, created and run by the charity Paths for All, was announced as the winner at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards 2019 at Glasgow City Chambers on Thursday, 21 November.
On the night inspirational coaches, officials and volunteers from all over Scotland were celebrated across 15 categories for their significant contribution to sport over the past 12 months.
The Care About Walking project gives people living in care homes in Perth & Kinross increased opportunities to be active every day. The goal is for all the participants to be able to experience the physical benefits of increased walking but also the mental and social health benefits of inclusion.
Older people in care homes can often spend most of their time sitting or lying down because they are unable to move, lack opportunities to do so or through choice. The project staff have come up with creative ways to encourage residents to engage in increased physical activity.
Walking programmes, strength and balance exercises, chair-based exercises, indoor curling, throwing golf, fishing for ducks, hoopla and putting challenges are helping residents to get active and see the physical and mental benefits that brings.
Workshops have been put on for care home staff in the area with the goal of rolling out the activities further. Thousands of care home residents could benefit.
In their own words
Julie Wyllie, manager of Ancaster House Care Home, said: “We have residents that came in to us more or less immobile and we have done gradual work with them so they can now walk independently around the home. It is tailored very much on an individual need.
“Their physical and mental health has improved, people sleep better if they are getting fresh air and exercise.
"We now have residents going out on the all ability bikes, we have residents that are going swimming which would’ve been unheard of before. They are doing these things confidently, which wouldn’t have been the case in care homes many years ago.”
At the ceremony, hosted by BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, award winners from up and down the country and across the sporting system were honoured from sports such as swimming, cycling, athletics, football, karate, wheelchair curling, basketball, boxing and canoeing.
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, said: “Every year across Scotland, thousands of dedicated sporting enthusiasts devote their time, knowledge and skills to afford others the chance to take part in sport, and experience all the benefits that come with sport participation.
“Our Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards give us a chance to celebrate the great sporting achievements that are taking place every day and congratulate those who are making an incredible commitment to Scottish sport.
“At sportscotland we are implementing a world-class sporting system at every level in and that is only possible with the support of the many dedicated coaches, officials and volunteers.”
Find out more
Visit the sportscotland website for information about coaching, officiating and volunteering.