Council serves up an ace to help elderly and isolated stay active

Friday 18 December 2020

 

FINAL - table tennis

Milton Keynes Council has worked with Table Tennis England to distribute ‘Play at Home’ packs to the isolated and elderly during its year as European City of Sport for 2020.

Research by Sport England has revealed the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on older people’s physical health and fitness, as well as their mental wellbeing.  Sport and physical activity is proven to significantly improve overall health.

MKC and Table Tennis England developed the ‘Play at Home’ packs to provide people with the basic equipment needed to start playing table tennis alone or with friends and family within their support bubbles.

The packs, which included bats and balls, as well as activity information cards to get people started, were distributed safely to adult day centres throughout Milton Keynes and an older person’s housing association.

Cllr Carole Baume, Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture at MK Council, said: “We know our most vulnerable people, especially the elderly, have been particular affected by the periods of lockdown and isolation, which has impacted their physical health and mental wellbeing.

“Sport and physical activity is a really fun and engaging way to improve health and wellbeing.  I hope these packs go a small way to helping people remain active.”

Kelly Armitt, Head of Mass Participation at Table Tennis England said: “Lockdown has been a very challenging time for many people, especially the most vulnerable and isolated.  We’re really grateful for the support of Milton Keynes Council and we hope the packs help people be more active in Milton Keynes.”

MK Council has been working with Table Tennis England and other partners throughout the city this year as Milton Keynes celebrates its European City of Sport title for 2020.

Earlier this year, MK Council delivered a similar project in partnership with Leap, the Buckinghamshire and MK Sport and Activity Partnership.  Together they distributed hundreds of European City of Sport Boredom Busters sport and activity packs to Children and Family Centres to help people stay active.  MKC also launched its #MK20in20 ‘at home’ campaign in the summer with the help of Olympic medallist and MK resident Gail Emms.

For more information on MK’s year as European City of Sport, click here.