Friday, June 04, 2021

THERE was a very welcome return for Laois Sports Partnership’s activator pole programme last week in Portarlington when close to 50 participants, in three socially distance pods were delighted to get back to group exercise after months of lockdown restrictions
Laois Sports Partnership supported by Laois Age Friendly Alliance and Healthy Ireland Laois have been able to support older adults to stay active with their activator pole programme.
The activator programme was developed by Frank Fahy, FitWalk Ireland for older people to assist in managing post/hip knee surgery, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disesase, Osteoarthritis and fall prevention.  The benefits in using these poles for exercise are to improve stability, reduces impact on hip and knee joints, develop core strength, improve posture and promotes better gait pattern.
In previous years our activator programme consisting of six week workshops which were  delivered to communities  all over Laois.  Activator Poles have been purchased  through funding from Healthy Ireland Laois  and tutors  trained up  during this time.
When lockdown was lifted last Summer our tutors who completed this training were out delivering socially distanced outdoor sessions in Derryounce, Portarlington,  Portlaoise and Mountrath.  Clients who were already familiar with the safe and correct use of the poles, were able to borrow them for their personal use during earlier phases of lockdown.
In autumn, as another lockdown loomed, we wanted to support more older people in Laois so we decided to bring this programme online
We quickly realised  that there were people who did not have access to internet so we decided to record videos and  get them put onto DVD’s  which we also  uploaded to our YouTube channel Laois Sports Partnership Official.
The DVD’s we produced were At Home Fitness, Dance from Home with Maureen Culleton  and The Activator Series.  These  resources  will support people to try and reach the minimum of 30 minutes of daily physical activity, as recommended in Ireland’s National Physical Activity Plan.
It  will also help an individual’s strength and confidence in their body, which will support them to be more physically active as well as developing transferable skills for everyday life.
Should you wish to get involved please email us at [email protected]  or contact us on 057 8671248 and we will arrange poles and resources.

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