1 Feb, 2017

The Sport, Play and Active Wellbeing Team at Bridgend County Borough Council has worked with partner organisations over the last year or so to deliver ‘Later Life Training’ to staff and activity leaders in order to roll out an innovative ‘OlympAge’ activity programme within local care settings.

The OlympAge programme involves going into day centres and residential homes and carrying out modified games suitable for older people, designed to get them moving about and being more active. The programme also acts as a tool to improve mental wellbeing by giving participants a sense of purpose and opportunities to socialise with others. The team have been supporting the participants and staff within these care settings to build in regular exercise as part of the programme. This includes playing adapted games such as boccia, new-age kurling, basketball, target throw and bounce ball.

After rolling out the programme and seeing how much the activities were making a difference to the lives of older people, the team wanted to put on an event which would bring together participants from across the county borough and give them something to look forward to and practise for. It was decided that a grand OlympAge Games ceremony would take place to celebrate the work being done to enrich the lives of older people in Bridgend County Borough.

The OlympAge Games was held on Thursday 8 December 2016 in the Bethlehem Life Centre, Cefn Cribwr. The event was a great success, with over 200 people gathering to watch 14 teams made up of older people and people with disabilities enjoying competing in the Rio-themed events. The Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans AM was in attendance along with the Deputy Mayor of Bridgend County Borough, National Exercise Referral Co-ordinator for Wales – Jeannie Wyatt Williams, representatives from partner organisations and local councillors.

The positive atmosphere at the event was heart-warming, with people of all ages coming together with the same goal, to make Bridgend County Borough a great place for people to grow older. Over 50 Bridgend College Health and Social Care students lent their support on the day, assisting people taking part to move around and play the games. This gave a multi-generational feel to the day and promoted the message that multi-generational interactions within in our communities should be the norm.

All participants received a medal on the day for their efforts, and the winning teams in each category received a special OlympAge Games 2016 trophy.

The ongoing aim is to keep working with care providers to ensure that momentum is not lost and that the equipment and training that has been provided is being utilised regularly. Bridgend County Borough Council hope that they can continue to access support from organisations such as Welsh Government and Sport Wales to make the OlympAge Games an annual event, and to encourage other local authorities in Wales to put on similar programmes by sharing best practice.

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  • Local and national support organisations

    Organisation Contact number Website
    Age Cymru 08000 223 444 Age Cymru
    Ageing Well in Wales 02920 445030 Ageing Well in Wales
    Alzheimers Society 0300 222 1122 Alzheimers Society
    Age connects morgannwg 01443 490650 Age connects morgannwg
    Older people’s commisioner for Wales 08442 640670 Older people's commisioner for Wales
    Welsh Local Government Association 029 2046 8600 Welsh Local Government Association
    Bridgend County Care and Repair 01656 646755 Bridgend County Care and Repair
    Bridges into Work 2 01656 815317
    Communities First Bridgend 01656 642605 Communities First Bridgend
    Careers Wales 0800 028 4844 Careers Wales
    Adult Community Learning 01656 642729
    BAVO 01656 810400 BAVO
    Local Community Coordinators 07815 579082 Local Community Coordinators