A new initiative from Communicare at the Quays Swimming and Diving Complex bringing together the oldest and youngest members of the community.  “Toddle and Waddle” will combine a chair-based exercise group with an “introduction to sport” class to provide a weekly afternoon of interaction and fun that is designed to get everyone moving and enjoying time together.

Based at the Quays Swimming and Diving Complex, the new programme will follow the curriculum used by the existing, successful “Little Sports” lessons to engage the children.  “Little Sports” accommodates youngsters who are just walking through to the age of four with their carers. It under-pins the Olympic Diving Programme, preparing little ones for any sport for the future.

The popular “Sit and Get Fit” class programme will form the basis of the activities aimed at the older, less mobile members of the new group.

Everyone will then get together to follow a newly designed set of shared activities before enjoying refreshments and a social time to finish the afternoon.

Taking ideas from intergenerational studies in the USA and Bristol, UK, “Sit and Get Fit” class teacher, Sue Tizard, has been one of the brains behind the project.  “I am really looking forward to getting this going,” she enthused.  “Bringing these two diverse groups together promises to offer a whole new approach to getting moving, which has been shown to be very successful in similar settings elsewhere. Communicare are hoping that this will lead to a reduction in social isolation and that it will encourage both age groups to improve their fitness for life.”

A recent Channel 4 programme “Old People’s Home for 4 year olds” tracked the progress of Residential Home residents taking part in an experiment to work with a Pre-school, which showed a range of benefits for those joining in.

“Toddle and Waddle” will be trialled with a pilot study funded by Southampton Healthy Living during November. Delivered through Active Nation, who manage the Quays Swimming and Diving Complex, anyone interested in taking part can get more details by email to [email protected] or by phoning 023 8072 0922