Playbusters based in the East End of Glasgow successfully received funding from the Big Lottery 2014 towards the Connecting Generations Commonwealth Games Fitness Challenge. The project brought together 20 older adults and 20 younger people to participate in four main activities: table tennis, carpet bowls, badminton and salsa-size (similar to aerobics by providing group or individual training sessions based around Salsa music). The projected outcome would be increased fitness levels, territorial barriers broken down and raised awareness of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. Glasgow 2014 will be the 20th Commonwealth Games bringing 6,500 athletes and officials from 71 Commonwealth Games Associations to the city for 17 sports over 11 days of competition between 23rd July and 3rd August 2014.
How did the project operate?
45 people were invited to attend an introductory session – 8 men, 12 women, 13 boys and 12 girls with an age range from 8 to 80. Over six sessions on Sundays in February and March 2010, participants had opportunities to try out four sports and, in early May, they came together again to evaluate the experience. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Participants had enjoyed the sessions and had been inspired to become more active.
In May 2010, a celebration event was held in Parkhead Library. In attendance for the presentation of certificates were participants’ families, the head and deputy heads of the children’s schools and representatives of other local organisations. Because the feedback was so good, Playbusters plan to continue this programme in the near future with additional sports.
Why was the project successful?
The staff involved made direct contact with potential participants by phone, letter or face to face. Icebreaker games at the initial session helped participants get to know one another.
Because of the size of venues and the fact that one Sunday was Mothers’ Day, participants met in different groupings. This worked well and allowed all to meet and play with everyone involved. Subsequently the staff built this mix into the programme.
The participants took advantage of any opportunities that arose. For instance, mild and sunny weather one day, allowed some to use the swings, chutes, etc. at the leisure centre before their scheduled badminton and table tennis sessions.