Go for Gold Fife

The ‘Go for Gold’ initiative was created in 2012 as a legacy from the London Olympics and the World Congress on Active Aging. It aims to encourage older adults in the care sector to become more active whilst linking to large international sporting events. In Fife ‘Go for Gold’ has taken place every year celebrating such events as the Commonwealth Games, World Rugby Cup and the European Games but also more local themes such as Fife Castles or in lock down 2020 ‘Going to the Fair’. These events involve prior activities like exploring the theme, banner design to promote your care home or the country you are representing, creating costumes and of course practising your sporting skills!

The events traditionally took place during the summer and have always involved volunteers of every age. Three events took place in St Andrews, Glenrothes and Lumphinnans in 2019 with 250 older adults taking part and over 40 volunteers helping on the days. These volunteers were made up of Fife Council staff released from their posts, students from Fife College and pupils from three local high schools (Auchmuty, Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth Academy). The volunteers ran all the activities, including team organisation, scoring, equipment and general support to the Older Adults. It was a highly competitive competition finishing with afternoon tea and medals for all.

During the COVID 19 pandemic 2020
After 8 successful years, 2020 had to be different and as our care providers were all really keen to still take part we decided to create a virtual Go for Gold event. This took place during one week in August and was run by the care staff. All the equipment, certificates, medals and paperwork were provided to the 40 care homes that took part, delivered by the Physical Activity Team along with a video of support and a warm up exercises. Across the care settings, over 500 residents took part with amazing photos and videos shared by the care homes of their day. From these a short film was produced by the physical activity team to showcase the fun that was had. This was the biggest ‘Go for Gold’ event ever held in Scotland.

Intergenerational plans for virtual connections 2021
This virtual event in 2020 was not as intergenerational inclusive involving schools/ colleges as in previous years mainly due to technology, but a lot has been learnt. As we continue to work virtually some of these barriers originally faced are now being broken down and care homes are now much more connected. We are looking at Schools being able to film activities to share with care homes and young people will get a chance to design activities then share these with care facilities and the care settings can do the same back to the young people. There will also be a chance to link across the generations with a walking challenge that is planned for May 2021 bringing together care home residents, families and or schools/ nurseries and a continuation of pen pal projects and sharing virtual stories.

You can watch Go for Gold Fife short video here