Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Senior Superstars

The Senior Superstars.

We are a varied bunch. Our ages span about 25 years or so, I'd guess. Most of us don't know anything about the others.

But we all have one thing in common. We all like to exercise in a group. Most of us enjoy a laugh. We all have a "Green Prescription." And we are all well past our first bloom of youth.

We are part of the Green Community. Why green I have no idea. It is an exercise programme for the not so young, government funded through Sport Northland. Costs a gold coin to take part. But to be part of the group you need a Green Prescription from your doctor, which is very easy to get. Just ring the surgery and ask for one and a nurse will write it out for you and forward it to Sport Northland. My interpretation is “this person could do with some regular exercise, let ‘em join.”

A staff member from Sport Northland sets the group up, by advertising it through Seniors Groups, etc. When it is up and running they find a local person to take over. Grant, very fit, somewhere around 40, is our local leader.

I call us the Senior Superstars. And I don't care to know what the very youthful volleyballers call us! They use the gym at the high school after us on Tuesday nights and are usually arriving as we are finishing our exercise session. They are always very polite and respectful but I bet they have been known to have a little giggle at our expense.

As I've now had a clean bill of health from the heart surgeon, I no longer have an excuse for not going hard out. Bear in mind that hard out in this case is relative to my age and level of fitness. We all take part to the very best of our ability.

We do exercises to warm up then walk around for about 5 minutes, throw a netball around, even go through one ball game as if we are stars in the making. Sometimes we even have to run (or a good imitation of it) and bounce the ball at the same time!!

Warm ups - getting those shoulders rolling

But all that is a prelude to the "main game", the hockey game, which I think is the favourite part of the class for all participants. Its played with plastic hockey sticks (but it still hurts if you get a good whack with one). The goal area is painted on the wall.

Our group are mainly over 60, a couple younger, most closer to 70 or 80. Hence the hockey is ‘no rules’ – very few of us would be capable of remembering them!

Some of the men get a little over competitive at times but if their fire is still burning, well, power to them, I reckon. As long as they don't knock around the older members of the team, it's not a problem. And I don't think an older person ever has been knocked around during a game. But it doesn't pay to make concessions to the older ones either or they will turn that to their own advantage quick smart. I've always thought I have a competitive nature but I pale in comparison to some of the older ones.

I'm annoyed these photos turned out so badly. I couldn't escape the reflection off the floor. And my camera has a slight delay between pressing the button and the flash going off, so action shots look ridiculous when the action has moved on.

Superstar Tom (aged 82) is keeping a close eye on my mate, Chris.

The girls have Alec surrounded

And Tom is the only man brave enough to take on this fearsome four.

After the hockey game we have a choice of activity. Badminton, tennis or into the equipment room to ride a bike, row a boat or some other form of torture. (The men seem to prefer this activity.)

Thelma is left to face Nancy and Chris alone as I dash off to take a photo.

For me, even if the exercise wasn't doing me good, I would continue to attend, just for the fun of it all.


  1. I reckon all the young volley ball players should see this - they should be impressed!


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