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Girdwood Hub host Club Games to combat loneliness

26 Oct 2018
Girdwood Community Hub today hosted the third annual Club Games event, as part of Belfast Positive Ageing Month.

The Club Games brings together sports teams made up exclusively of people aged 55 and over in Belfast and aims to combat loneliness through team sports and physical activity.

Eight teams from local Belfast leisure centres took part, bringing together people from different communities and backgrounds to compete, interact and make friends.

The teams competed in a wide range of sports including badminton, boccia, walking football (‘danderball’) and table tennis.

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey said:

“It is wonderful to see such an event take place again in Belfast this year. Getting active is important for everyone and I am especially pleased that the Club Games aims to address loneliness which is one of the biggest problems facing our older generations.

“Making our leisure centres accessible and welcoming for everyone can not only help encourage greater uptake of sports and physical activity, but it can also provide a safe space and a community hub for people to come together, meet up and feel included.”

Speaking at the event, Ronan McKenna, Regional Community Sports Manager with GLL, the social enterprise which runs the Girdwood Community Hub, said:

“It is fantastic to see the Club Games taking place for the third consecutive year. It is always one of our most competitive events and really good fun.

“As a strategic partner of Belfast City Council, one of our big commitments is to the Belfast Agenda which aims to get more people in the city, more active, more often. Club Games is one way of doing that. It not only encourages older people into physical activity, but it tackles loneliness and isolation head on by bringing older people in our community together.

“No-one should be left to feel isolated or lonely as they get older and the Club Games provides an ideal opportunity for people to make new connections and try new activities.

“Across the Better Leisure Centres here in Belfast, there is a great programme of activities for older adults, including badminton, danderball, group exercise and swimming, open to people of all ages and abilities.”
The third annual Club Games took place at Girdwood Community Hub today as part of Belfast Positive Ageing Month. Pictured left to right are: Owen Coogan (Falls Leisure Centre), Kate Dowds (Falls Leisure Centre) and Johnny Smyth (Avoniel Leisure Centre The third annual Club Games took place at Girdwood Community Hub today as part of Belfast Positive Ageing Month. Pictured are Hong An Sun and Gary Bolton from Avoniel Leisure Centre. The third annual Club Games took place at Girdwood Community Hub today as part of Belfast Positive Ageing Month. Pictured are Anne Donnelly, Patricia Hume and Anne Clarke from Falls Leisure Centre.