Northern Outlook : July 5th 2014
NEWS Norm leads the pack By EMILY SPINK WITH EVERY walk, a group of North Canterbury residents are taking control of their health and wellbeing. Come rain, hail or shine the retirees are keeping active and staying social through a twiceweekly walking group – which all started with one Rangiora man. Four years ago, 77-year-old Norman Mora suffered a stroke and went through pulmonary rehabilitation. When he fell ill last year, Mora was referred by his GP to the Green Prescription programme, which is run by Sport Canterbury to provide support and motivation to increase physical activity across Christchurch and the Greater Canterbury region. After completing an eight- week Be Active programme, where he was introduced to a number of exercise groups and activities, Mora took to helping others enjoy the benefits of being active by founding the Rangiora Walking group. After approaching other local organisations, walker numbers grew and are continuing to do so. ‘‘People are interested because we are a friendly group and we support one another.’’ The group, with a range of abilities and disabilities, meets twice a week at the Rangiora wetlands reserve. ‘‘Every three weeks they have a day at Pegasus, where they admit to enjoying the odd bit of cake and coffee,’’ Norman says. ‘‘We still go out if it’s wet because we do socialise here.’’ Some have lost their partners and live on their own, and for others the walking group provides the opportunity to make new friends. ‘‘It’s a chance for them to get out and have a yarn,’’ Norman says. ‘‘It’s very much company and I just love it here,’’ said Anne Frankland. ‘‘It’s not just walking – it’s where you’re walking for it to be a pleasure,’’ she said. Green Prescription support person Beth Hickland said 35 people attended last year’s Be Active programme and most have committed to long term activity. ‘‘Norman has done a great job of getting everybody going.’’ ❚ For more information on Sport Canterbury’s Green Prescription programmes, or to enrol in the Rangiora Be Active programme, ring Jess on 03 373 5032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $3 per session. Rangiora Term 3 ‘Be Active’ will be held at the St John’s Rangiora Church Hall, 355 High Street, on Wednesdays 10am till 11.30am starting July 23. NORTHERN OUTLOOK, JULY 5, 2014 5 OUT AND ABOUT: Norman Mora helped launch a walking group in Rangiora, which now meets twice weekly.
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