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Active Seniors to Receive Awards

17 October 2005

Active Seniors to Receive Awards During Osteoporosis Awareness Week

Some of New Zealand’s fittest senior citizens will be in the spotlight at Parliament on 18th October, as part of Osteoporosis Awareness Week – 17 to 24 October.

The “You Deserve a Medal” Awards will be hosted by ACC Minister Ruth Dyson with four people over 65 presented with medals by Osteoporosis New Zealand’s (ONZ) Bone Ambassadors Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell. The medals, which are awarded by annually, recognise the winners’ continuing active lifestyles and the contributions they make to the community.

This year the awards are sponsored by ACC Injury Prevention, Calci Trim from Meadow Fresh, Pharmac and SPARC.

The ACC ‘ThinkSafe’ Medal will be presented to James Sharp of Howick, Auckland, who has recently begun Tai Chi to improve his strength and balance and reduce his risk of a fall. He is also a role model to others by promoting strength and balance exercises and other ways of preventing falls.

ACC Injury Prevention General Manager Darrin Goulding says ACC wants to see “a focus on fitness for enjoying life. “Making exercise part of the activities you like doing is the way to go – you’re much more likely to keep at it,” he says.

Norma Riley of Waiheke Island, Auckland has won the Calci Trim Medal recognising her commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Her exercise programme, combined with a calcium rich diet has significantly improved her bone density to the point where she is no longer at risk of osteoporosis.

Meadow Fresh marketing executive Carmen Tsang says, “It was important to us to recognise Norma’s efforts, that healthy eating and a calcium-rich diet, when combined with exercise will make a positive difference.

Jenny Wilson of Ellerslie, Auckland has overcome a number of chronic health problems through regular exercise, and her achievements have been recognised with her receiving the Pharmac Medal.

“Taking responsibility for your health and taking action means that the need for mediation can be significantly reduced – you end up healthier and you feel good, these are things no pill will do,” said Chief Executive of Pharmac, Mr Wayne McNee when selecting Jenny as their medal winner.

Molly Armitage of Palmerston North inspires her family, taught her grandchildren to boogie board and has had a lifelong commitment to fitness. In more recent times her gym programme has concentrated on improving muscle tone in her knee, delaying her need for a knee replacement.

SPARC Chief Executive, Nick Hill, said that Molly's nomination shows how regular physical activity in later years keeps you actively involved in family and community life. "You not only keep up with your children, but your grandchildren too."

ONZ Chairperson Claire Mackintosh says the organisation wants to encourage older people to stay physically active for their bone health and general wellbeing. “’You Deserve a Medal’ applauds ordinary New Zealanders in their senior years who lead active and productive lives regardless of their age – people who inspire others by their example.”


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