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Moray’s ‘Commonwealth Games with a difference’

Be Active Life Long
Be Active Life Long

A Commonwealth Games with a difference was held in Moray yesterday.

In this clash of the sporting titans, all of the contestants were more than 60 years-old.

The event, at Aberlour, was organised by the Speyside Be Active Life Long (Ball) groups, and featured a full programme of activities, such as tennis, lawn bowls and indoor curling.

Commonhealth Games bosses linked up with the Active Start Group for 3-5 year olds in Aberlour, with the children presenting the winners with their honours in a mock medals ceremony.

The gathering was held to celebrate the success of three new Ball groups launched earlier this year at Aberlour, Dufftown and Craigellachie.

Ann Hay, assistant community care officer with Moray Council’s older people development team, said the initiative was giving an older generation of sporting enthusiasts a new spring in their steps.

We’ve got 17 ball groups in Moray at the moment with the oldest being 10 years old,” she said.

“The groups stretch from Cullen to Tomintoul.

“We came up with the idea with the Commonwealth Games approaching and to celebrate the success of the recently formed Speyside groups.”

Carol Matheson, member of the Aberlour Ball group and tennis coach, said contestants had more than matched the Glasgow 2014 teams for enthusiasm.

“It has been outstanding with all the different groups working together,” she said.

“Everyone commented at the end saying it was one of the best days they have had with everyone joining in.”

Members also enjoyed an indoor picnic.

The Ball groups offer gentle exercise, companionship and fun to the over-60s, while aiming to prevent rural isolation.

Activities include dance and yoga, as well as the chance to learn new skills.

Each Ball group is run by the older people themselves.

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