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Let's get physical .. Russell Dockrill has been with the Sport Canterbury Active For Life programme since it started. Staff and members see him as a poster boy for activity in older life. PHOTOS: AL WILLIAMS

by Al Williams

Senior members of the South Canterbury community are signing up in increasing numbers to stay in shape.
Active For Life, a programme aimed at the ageing population and run under the umbrella of Sport Canterbury, has attracted a significant membership since it started three years ago in the gymnasium at the Southern Trust Events Centre.
Sport Canterbury physical activity team leader Debbie Esler the programme database with up to 40 turning up for each physical activity class.

 Pulling power... Active For Life members Pauline Mack and Jack Marett work out.

Pulling power… Active For Life members Pauline Mack and Jack Marett work out.

At the start three years ago, there were three classes per week, Ms Esler said.
“Due to growing demand over the past three years we have slowly introduced new classes and just this month have added another on a Friday morning, so we now provide seven classes per week.”
Every class was suitable for all abilities and levels of experience, she said.
Member Jackie McDonald said she had been attending the programme for 12 months.
“It’s absolutely marvellous. I feel heaps better and the muscles are more relaxed.
“I have far more strength.”

 No pain, no gain... Jackie McDonald goes all out.

No pain, no gain… Jackie McDonald goes all out.

Russell Dockrill has been with the Sport Canterbury Active For Life programme since it started.
Mr Dockrill said he helped initiate the classes after struggling with physical activities.
“I could not do some things any more. I needed upper body strength and there was no other option at the time.”
He took part in two one-hour sessions each week, Mr Dockrill said.