Maree Todd MSP joins Shine in promoting physical activity

Maree Todd MSP joins Shine in promoting physical activity

A SOCIAL enterprise encouraging people to embrace exercise to keep active and healthy has been given the thumbs up by a Scottish Minister.

Shine Public Health was set up in Haddington last year with a view to alerting people to the physical activities that were available to them.

In November, they were based in the town’s Corn Exchange, which is being used as a vaccination centre by NHS Lothian.

As members of the public were coming through, they had the opportunity to stop and view some video clips of activities, ranging from walking, walking football, table tennis and dance classes, available through the Shine app.

Martin Hayman, co-founder and CEO of Shine, highlighted the success of the initiative, which has even attracted the attention of Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport.

Mr Hayman said: “On the back of the success, we invited the Minister for Public Health to see us.

“It is the first time anywhere in Scotland we think where a physical activity programme had linked with a vaccination centre.

“When you think about it, it just makes so much sense.

“They have got the five minutes to wait after the jab so we make use of that time.

“We invited the Minister for Public Health also to see us in action.”

Ms Todd visited Haddington earlier this year and got to see an over-50s table tennis class at the town’s Aubigny Sports Centre.

Mr Hayman added: “We had probably 20-plus people playing table tennis and she got to meet a number of the players and hear their story and the difference physical activity makes to them.

“She got to pick up a bat and had a game.

“It was the first time she had played – she was pretty good at it!

“She managed some decent rallies and she was playing with one of our members, Doug Buttenshaw, who is in his 80s.

“He is a long-standing member of the club and recently had a stroke and was diagnosed with dementia.

“Table tennis is a highlight of his week because it gives him a chance to get out and socalise a bit – just being out with friends, having a good chat and a laugh.”

The MSP enjoyed her visit to Haddington and sampling table tennis for the first time.

She said: “I was delighted to meet staff and service users at Shine which is supported by the Scottish Government’s Active Scotland division and is doing a great job of inspiring people to get active.

“Shine is focused on helping those over-50 to stay get involved, and as I found out, table tennis can be enjoyed by all ages.”

Mr Hayman felt there was a range of activities, which offered people the chance to not only exercise but socialise.

He said: “In a place like East Lothian, we are spoilt for places to go for walks.

“The benefits of meeting up with friends, going for a walk a couple of times a week for older people is phenomenal.

“Ultimately, we want to help prevent ill health and encourage people to stay as healthy as they can for as long as possible.”

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