Fitness, fun and food at Schotia Place

Fitness and fun from the comfort of a chair.

By Tania Phillips

Rockhampton Senior Citizens Club at Schotia Place has returned from the Christmas break and already o one of it’s newest activities becoming one of It’s most popular.

The club introduced a fitness session midway through last year and is already looking to possibly expand the program according to the man who introduced it, committee member and avid cyclist Peter Kane.

“We started up about six months ago and we run it every Wednesday from 9.30am and we’ve been steadily getting more members coming along,” he said.

“Initially it started just as my circle, from our cycling club – from the older people from that. But CQ Today have proven to be a rich seam of new members.

“The format is, we have an accredited trainer who comes along and we sit around on a cycle of chairs. The importance of that is that there is always something to hold onto for balance.

“It’s like a normal fitness session but it’s graded for your abilities so we start off with a warm-up to music and do that for a while, then there’s a series of exercises that are really intended to be relevant to what you do during your day-to-day activities to prevent against falls and so forth. It’s really no different to a normal fitness workout you’d have at a gym but it’s just a low-impact movement type exercise. We have people from their early 60s to their late 80s so you can do it at your own pace, there are always options. Kaz, our trainer, is very good at giving advice at how to work at your level.”

He said they are thinking they may have to have two sessions on the Wednesday or another day because it’s proving to so popular.

“We don’t want to get too big, we have a lot of fun because of the personal interaction that we have,” he said.

“We have a session where we tell a joke each day because mental health is as important as physical health so we’re trying to work on everything.”

The sessions are pretty relaxed with people coming and having a good chat before the sessions (and sometimes during).

“From time to time we will go to a café after the sessions (or instead of),” he laughed.

“We had a break up at a café last year instead of. The hall is closed midway through the year because of Rockie Nats – they use the hall we use for admin and other things so when that’s happening we either go to a local park or we will go for a walk somewhere together. It’s good to mix it up. Kaz changes the sessions regularly, but I think if we take advantage of the necessity to change and mix it up and take a walk it helps. The Rockhampton river bank is quite nice to walk along and it’s very close to the hall we use.”

Peter said when he came on to the committee they were looking at ways to expand their range of offerings at the club – their relevance to members. Of course because he came up with the idea of a fitness class, he got the job to do it.

“Also Kaz had been my trainer at a gym that I attend and she left to get into the seniors sector so I made contact with her and it snowballed from there.”

The club basically has three activities on their schedule including Hoy – bingo with cards on a Friday. The most popular thing is the morning and lunch on Thursdays.

“Last year we had it every second Thursday and now we are having it the second, third and fourth Thursday of the month,” he said.

“The idea there is provide a venue that people can come along to, there’s morning tea, light music playing. You can sit and chat to your friends you can, if you want to get up and dance to the music you can – and they do and have a really good lunch all for $8.

“The president of the club is really keen to keep fees down because we realise not everyone can afford to go out to lunch or have a restaurant meal and it’s really good quality for a really excellent price. We also have a table you can take home extra meals or sweets or sausage rolls – a range of extras.

“That’s proven quite popular. We actually have people who work locally come in early and buy it up because it’s a good price and it’s excellent quality, that helps the club make money.”

President Jean Robinson said before Covid they used to have more but people are slowly coming back however she said a lot of older people maybe don’t know about the club and they were hoping to spread the word.

“We do meals so cheaply and it’s a really lovely day out for people,” Jean said.

“We have morning tea and I cook probably 20 dozen scones every Thursday morning plus piklets and we also do sausage rolls and we do a lot of home cooking for people to take home at a small cost. But I think a lot of people don’t know about it.”

The clubs has two buses to pick people up, one covering the northside and one the south.

The mornings run from 9:30am – 12:30pm on the second, third and fourth Thursday of the month with an $8 entry and include a Morning Tea served at 10am, Lucky Door prizes and Raffles and a band playing during the morning tea and lunch.

On Friday the club hosts Hoy – a type of bingo where groceries are the prize – 9:30am – 12:30pm.

While on Wednesday there are now low impact functional exercise classes for Seniors from 9.30am to 10am. The club is also always looking for volunteers.

For more information email seniors.schotiaplace@gmail.com or call 0478320347

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