Mid and East Antrim ladies are bouncing back with MEAAP

Taking part in the Over 60's fitness class complete with UV face paint are  Carmel Darragh (Glenarm/Carnlough) pictured right and Doreen Knowles(Cullybackey Seniors) ,
Taking part in the Over 60's fitness class complete with UV face paint are Carmel Darragh (Glenarm/Carnlough) pictured right and Doreen Knowles(Cullybackey Seniors) ,

Trampolines, UV paint and kettlebells are not the usual essentials for an over 60’s fitness class.

However, a group of 24 ladies from Glenarm, Carnlough and Cullybackey will be breaking all the rules over the next few months as they join forces as one of 15 partnerships who are part of Peacing Ages Together, an age friendly, cross community project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme.

Eileen Ritchie (on trampoline) Una Spragg, Leona Marron (Facilitator) Carole Stewart and Nan Anderson at the Over 60s fitness classes currently underway in the borough.

Eileen Ritchie (on trampoline) Una Spragg, Leona Marron (Facilitator) Carole Stewart and Nan Anderson at the Over 60s fitness classes currently underway in the borough.

Cullybackey Seniors and Glenarm/Carnlough Ladies have already had four of their 10 sessions together at gym Studio 365, trying out boxercise, circuits and boogie bounce amongst many other activities. These two groups had never met before the project but now are firm friends who are keen to give everything a go and support each other to do so.

They have shown their extremely competitive side in their circuits and boxing classes, but are working well as a team on their step and boogie bounce routines that they will show off at the projects celebration event in June, 2019.

For some of these ladies the idea of walking into a gym maybe for the first time was a bit daunting but as soon as they met their fitness instructor they knew they were in for some serious fun.

One of the ladies, Carole Stewart, said: “ These classes are amazing, the things Leona asks us to do sound crazy at first, especially when you are that little bit older, but once I stepped on the trampoline and heard the beat of the music I thought, why not!”

Leona Marron, sports facilitator, said: “These ladies, mostly in their 70’s and 80’s are up for trying anything and they have loved every minute of it. From spin to boogie bounce to painting their faces with UV Paint, I just love how they embrace everything I throw at them”

Thirty local community groups across Larne, Carrick and Ballymena have been partnered together and are travelling to visit each other in their hometowns, to meet new friends and try out some new exciting activities together.

Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP) have secured funding of over £80,000 to distribute to the 15 partnerships through a partnership with Mid and East Antrim Council’s European Union’s Peace IV Building Positive Relations Working Group, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Other themes in the programme include arts, history, and ethnic minorities.

MEAAP Peace IV Project Officer Sarah McLaughlin said: “We were very determined to find new and exciting interests for people to try and so far, the feedback from the older people has been really positive. This group of ladies are so incredible.”