Four elderly women with a combined age of 413 have been turning back the years by working out at an Aberdeen gym.
Jessie Gallan, 106, Pearl Mitchell, 103, Ina Gall, 103, and Isobel Robertson, 101, were at the Beach Leisure Centre to promote the city’s upcoming Golden Games.
The two-day event on June 13-14 is a free ‘festival of sport’ for over 65s in the city. The programme of events includes tennis, angling, golf, aqua aerobics, fitness classes, Zumba, health walks and the city’s first-ever nursing home pentathlon.
Jessie, who stays at the city’s Forestgait home, said: “It’s important to stay active; it helps the mind and the body. I have a bowl of porridge every day and always say to people hard work doesn’t kill you, look at me for proof.”
Isobel Robertson, a resident at Fergus House in Dyce, added: “It’s important to keep active. I’m sure everyone else agrees. It’s great to try doing different things, I like to walk and enjoy taking part in activities.”
Councillor Len Ironside, Aberdeen City Council’s social care and wellbeing convener, said: “In the London Olympic Year of 2012 the Golden Games presents a fantastic opportunity for participants to try something new, revisit a former favourite past-time, get involved and experience the lasting benefit of taking part.
“Our four centenarians epitomise what the Golden Games is all about. They do not see age as a barrier, in fact their attitude exemplifies the Games’ aim to combat age discrimination, overcome age-related stereotypes and remove barriers for older people continuing to take part in a range of activities across the city.
“I would encourage family and friends to encourage anyone they know, who is aged over 65, to pick up a programme and see what’s on offer. It’s a tremendously varied programme of events with something for everyone, but places are limited so it’s important people get in touch and book their place in advance.”
Aberdeen FC manager Craig Brown has also given his backing to the Golden Games.
He said: “In my line of work there is no stigma attached to age. You only have to look at my esteemed colleague Sir Alex Ferguson to realise that age is no barrier to efficiency.
"Many people marvel at his remarkable achievements in football but very rarely question his age. I am often referred to as an elder statesman in terms of my experience in the game but I never question my age.
“The forthcoming Golden Games are a fine example of the efforts being made to demonstrate that age really is just a number and not an obstacle in leading a fit and healthy lifestyle.”
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