American athlete Jackie Joyner-Kelsee, who overcame severe asthma to win Olympic gold, silver and bronze in both heptathalon and high jump, said: “Age is no barrier (to sport), it’s the limitation you put on your mind”. There’s no doubt that advancing age limits physical prowess, but that’s no reason to close your mind to sport.
Ideal for older people, walking sports are versions of games like football, cricket, or hockey that follow standard game rules, but where players walk instead of run. They provide the fun of the game without the strenuous pace and intense contact, which is perfect if you’re not as sprightly as you used to be. Even so, they’re no ‘walk in the park’. Keeping up with your opponents and their stop-start nature challenges both mind and body.
Rotherham U3A would like to hear from men and women interested in forming one or more Walking Cricket teams. A team consists of six to eight players (three to four pairs). The game is played at walking pace, including the ‘runs’ and fielding, and a match lasts about two hours. A soft ball is used and it’s a year-round activity.
Walking Cricket is a powerful, interesting and relaxed sport, enabling players to have fun and to enjoy regular, health-promoting exercise. Whether batting, bowling, or fielding, it increases heart rate, improves circulation, balance, physical and mental agility and hand-eye coordination. Contact Jim Walker on 01709 541067 for more details.
If cricket doesn’t appeal, there are several other U3A activities providing a workout for the over-50s, ranging from various dancing groups through Tai Chi to Yogalates. Visit www.u3asites.org.uk/rotherham or contact Sylvia Duncan on 01709 374041 to find out more.