Summer of Sport event to engage elderly residents in St Neots

A photo of care home resident Malcolm Wright, during his cycling career

A photo of care home resident Malcolm Wright, during his cycling career - Credit: Archant

Sporting events across the country might have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the competitive spirit is flying high at a care home in St Neots.

Residents from Nelson Lodge will be battling it out in a variety of competitions as part of Anchor’s Summer of Sport.

All 114 care homes run by the not-for-profit care provider of care and housing for older people, will be hosting their very own sporting tournament, encouraging physical activity and uniting the community in a shared love of sports.

The tournament comes at a time when 7.2 million older people in England are physically inactive and aims to keep residents fit and healthy.

The Summer of Sport will be held from Monday, July 20 to Sunday, July 26 – the same week when the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would have been held.

The tournament will see residents at Nelson Lodge taking on daily one-minute sporting challenges in disciplines such as basketball, cricket, football, table tennis, golf and rugby.

And the care home has been provided with sports equipment specially adapted for people living with dementia, ensuring all residents are able to participate.

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Residents will be in friendly competition with other care homes across the country for coveted trophies which will be awarded during a special closing ceremony, co-ordinated across all care homes.

Although many sports now have to be played without spectators, staff at Nelson Lodge will be there to cheer residents on.

Sean McCloseky, manager of Nelson Lodge, said: “Our residents have been disappointed that many sports events have been understandably cancelled due to the pandemic, so we decided to hold our own sporting events instead.

“The staff here have organised a variety of tournaments for the residents as part of Anchor’s Summer of Sport. It’s a great opportunity to exercise our bodies and minds, doing meaningful activities while also having fun!”

Resident Malcolm Wright, now 77, became a professional cyclist at 20 and competed for Southern Wheelers in road races across the country.

He proudly remembers race wins in 1970 in Basildon and Hemel Hempstead and keeps a framed photo of one of his races in his room.

He added: “I got into cycling because walking is too slow! I adored racing on my bike and was so disappointed when I had to give it up after my accident.

“The Summer of Sport events sound like they’ll be great fun, and it’s nice to have something to look forward to.”

*During the Summer of Sport, Anchor is encouraging colleagues and the local community to take on a sporting challenge of their own.

A special TRYathlon includes fun sporting challenges that can be done from home, including milk carton weightlifting, toilet roll keepie-uppies, and tea bag target practice.

Videos of the TRYathalon posted by people on social media will be turned into an epic sports video montage for care home residents to enjoy.

Locals are also encouraged to share their favourite sporting memories on social media using the hashtag #SummerofSport2020. Even though sporting events might be cancelled this summer, sport still has the power to unite the nation.

For more information about Nelson Lodge, contact 0800 731 2020.