Free exercise classes for Hackney’s over-50s


“I feel and look ten years younger”. Those were the benefits expressed by one Hackney resident who took part in the Council’s free exercise classes for the over-50s.

Alice Ajayi, 71, also says she is also no longer a regular patient of her doctor, after attending what classes of the New Age Games, a programme of fitness classes specially-created for the borough’s older residents.

Soca aerobics, Brazilian dance, archery, Boccia and yoga are just some of the sessions available across 11 venues in Hackney, running Monday to Saturday until 23 July.

Winifred Roach, 68 from Clapton, who attended Boccia classes at the Regents Estate Pensioners Club, said: “I started New Age Games to improve my health after being put on insulin and developing a heart condition, which forced me to retire. Despite my illness I feel happier and my health has improved.

“When I started Boccia I had terrible pain in my right shoulder, I couldn’t lift my hand and it stopped me doing my chores such as putting up my curtains. Boccia has been my pain relief, it helped slowly and now I am pain free.”

There are lots of benefits to be gained from regular exercise. Doing just two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise over a week can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. Moderate intensity exercise includes sports such as yoga and can even include pushing around a lawn mower or taking a 10 minute brisk walk.

Abdul Rashid Patel, 56, Clapton, said: “Since joining I have gone from inactivity to lots of activities five days a week, which has brought me happiness and I am feeling healthy.”

The New Age Games is part-funded by Sport England New Life Through Sport programme.

To see the New Age Games timetable and for further information visit the Council’s website, or contact the Leisure and Physical Activity Team on: 020 8356 4897 or email: darren.english@hackney.gov.uk.