English City Goes In Search of Oldest Local Athlete

Here's one way to generate community interest in physical activity among older adults: In celebration of the World Health Organization's "International Day of Older Persons" on Oct. 1, the Nottingham City Council in England is searching for the oldest local athlete, physical activity participant, and volunteer coach, instructor or official. Each category's winners (who are allowed to nominate themselves) will receive a six-month Flexible Fitness membership, allowing them to participate in activities at nine city facilities.

"It is hoped that the winners of this city search will act as ambassadors for older people participating in sport and physical activity, and that their enthusiasm will inspire others to become active," council member Dave Trimble says.

A recent report from the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association indicates that older adults are the senior playgrounds - fitness parks that help users build muscle, reduce fat and improve coordination, speed and balance - is catching on in Europe, Asia and North America.

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