Table tennis tourney promotes healthy aging

Posted .

Older residents are invited to get active and take on their mates in the City of Sydney’s first Over55 table tennis championship.

In celebration of the United Nations International Day for Older Persons, the table tennis tournament seeks to promote healthy aging with a game that is highly aerobic, easy on the joints and good for mental health.

Registration is free and the tournament takes place on Saturday 24 September at the University of Technology’s Ross Milbourne Sports Hall in Ultimo.

Starting at 9.30am, the event features men’s and women’s singles categories.

The importance of exercise when aging will be a hot topic at the global annual day for older persons, including how activities like table tennis can help “turn back the clock”.

“The City takes pride in putting together activities like this that keep everyone involved and active. There should be no age barrier to having fun and being social,” City of Sydney CEO, Monica Barone, said.

“Not only is table tennis good for the body and the brain, it’s also great fun and offers a way to build relationships.

“I encourage our older citizens to register for the tournament and check out our new guide to inclusive sports and recreational activities that everyone can take part in, regardless of age or disability.”

The game is also played as a method of preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s, with scientific studies showing table tennis creates an increase in blood to the area of the brain responsible for retaining long-term facts and events.

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW CEO, The Hon. John Watkins AM, said physical activity is beneficial for people no matter what their age.

“We know what is good for your heart is good for your brain,” Mr Watkins said.

“More and more research is indicating that physical activity, as well as keeping socially engaged, are really beneficial for brain health and may help reduce your risk of cognitive conditions like dementia.

“September is Dementia Awareness Month and it is a great reminder for us all to get outside, get active and maybe even try something new.”

Other table tennis health benefits include improved hand-eye coordination, reflexes, balance, cognitive awareness and cardiovascular health.

Julie Anne Mitchell, Health Director at the Heart Foundation NSW, said participating in regular activity in later years can help manage risk factors for heart disease like blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as improving general wellbeing and quality of life.

“We also know that social isolation can impact heart health so any group activity like this helps keep older residents connected to the community, which is good for the body as well as the mind,” Ms Mitchell said.

Registration is required and extended to Friday, 16 September. The entrance to the sports hall is off Thomas Street, at the intersection of Harris Street.

To register, please contact Raphael Hung on 02 9298 3103 or rhung@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au.

The new directory on inclusive sports and recreational activities can be found at cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/community-support/people-with-disability/disability-inclusive-sports-and-recreation

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Elaine Kelly.

Phone 0477 362 550 or email ekelly@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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