It's all go for team Speedwell this week as residents take part in the popular championship; Road Worlds for Seniors.
The aim of the event is for the cyclists become a part of something bigger; A global movement focusing on physical activity and reminiscence for people that are normally not able to take part in such initiatives. It's all about having that feeling of friendly competition and being part of a community, between residents, care facilities and across national borders.
Residents of Speedwell Court, dementia-friendly care home in Southampton, were keen to get involved. They got to pick from a choice of hundreds of destinations from around the world! One resident; Ron, used to live in Australia, he picked to cycle around the Sydney Opera House which brought back lots of memories for him. Another resident, who isn't originally from Southampton, got a chance to cycle around Manbridge Road, which is where Speedwell Court is located.
The bike was kindly gifted to Speedwell Court by Motitech. Residents are each cycling different lengths; some more than others – it all depends on how competitive they are. The residents taking part have set a goal to try to get at least 15 minutes on the bike per day.
The competition began on Monday 7th September and ends on Friday 2nd October, however the bike will be incorporated into Speedwell Court's weekly exercise activities following this.
"The residents really enjoyed themselves" said Deborah Holmes, Customer Relations Manager. "Keeping fit and active is an integral part of positively supporting Residents health and wellbeing, we are delighted to be involved in the Road Worlds challenge." she added.
"One resident in particular; Ray Worley, has a very sporty history and loves to get involved in activities like this!" said Deborah.
We spoke to Ray to find out a bit more about him and his sporty past.
Born in Southampton on the 7th July 1931, Ray severed in the RAF at age 21, and had various other jobs, mainly in engineering or as a handyman. Ray has always been a very sporty person – he played football from a young age and ended up becoming the goalie for Thornycroft and Southampton FC.
As he got older, Ray took up tennis and became Chairman at The Hedge End Tennis Club for over 40 years. Ray played competitive tennis in local leagues, winning many trophies! He also played an active part in Hedge End local community, taking part in the town twinning with Cannes, France and becoming a member of the Hedge End Town Council.
When Ray was asked if he wanted to take part in Road Worlds for Seniors, it was a resounding yes!
"I used to cycle to work at Thorneycroft every morning and night 4 or 5 miles to Woolston floating bridge – that’s the main reason I wanted to take part. I didn’t have to cycle to work” he added with a laugh, “I just really enjoyed it”. “You can pick some nice scenic routes on the Motitech screen, and it’s so important to keep active as you get older, I’m 89 and I still like to keep active."
What a fantastic initiative, go team Speedy Speedwell! There are so many benefits to staying active in later life – find out more about them here.