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Active seniors recognised

October 19, 2006

Active seniors recognised

L to R - Award winners Colin Thorne, Joyce Abercrombie, Katharine Price and Peter Johnston.

Imagine running a yoga class, setting up a gym in your own basement, tramping regularly, tending the gardens of a local retirement village and delivering Meals on Wheels at the mature age of 72-years!

Joyce Abercrombie of Kamo in Northland takes all this activity in her stride and her outstanding commitment to keeping 'on the go' has now been recognised.

Mrs Abercrombie is one of four of New Zealand's most energetic senior citizens recognised at the annual Osteoporosis New Zealand 'You Deserve a Medal' Awards, held at Parliament last night (October 18).

She receives the PHARMAC Medal and says she is thrilled and considers it an honour to have been recognised at the awards.

The awards, which take place during New Zealand's Osteoporosis Awareness Week and just days before World Osteoporosis Day (Friday, October 20), aim to encourage older people to stay physically active - a key contributor to maintaining bone health.

The other winners are 82-year-old Colin Thorne, also from Kamo, who was awarded the SPARC Medal; 92-year-old Katharine Price of Christchurch who receives the Fonterra Anlene Medal and ACC ThinkSafe Medal recipient Tauranga's Peter Johnston (79). Each is involved in a range of activities including tramping, running, cycling, aqua jogging, gardening and attending the gym.

Executive director of Osteoporosis New Zealand Julia Gallagher says she is amazed that year after year the organisation continues to receive such inspirational nominations for the awards.

"Being physically active is so important for bone health, particularly as we age. These winners are an incredible example to us all.

"Regular exercise offers so many benefits to our health from an overall improved sense of wellbeing to helping prevent falls through improved balance and muscle strength.

"Keeping fit also slows bone loss and reduces the risk of osteoporosis - a disease that affects about half of Kiwi women and nearly one third of our men over the age of 60 years."

The 'You Deserve a Medal' Awards are open to all New Zealanders 65 years and over and were presented this year by ACC Minister, Hon Ruth Dyson. Osteoporosis New Zealand 'bone ambassadors' Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell also attended in support of the awards.

Sponsors of this year's 'You Deserve a Medal' Awards are the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), Fonterra - Anlene, PHARMAC and Sport & Recreation New Zealand (SPARC).


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