Sportswomen of the Year Awards - video

    A short clip about Silverfit which was made for the SWOTY Awards by Sky TV.

    Silverfit was honoured to be nominated for the Community Awards category (the award went to Liverpool Football Group), and our founder had a wonderful time at the awards ceremony.

    Thanks to all our wonderful Silverfit Members for making our Silver Days such energetic and fun events!

    Enjoy the film!



    Sports Women of the Year Awards

    As we mentioned previously Silverfit's founder Eddie Brocklesby was shortlisted in the Community Awards category of the 2015 Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year Awards (in association with Vitality). Below is the article about Eddie and Silverfit, which was written by Rebecca Myers and published in the Sunday Times.

    Eddie and her daughter at the awards ceremony on November 6th, 2015.
    Eddie and her daughter at the awards ceremony on November 6th, 2015.

    "Eddie Brocklesby, Silverfit

    In a chilly London park, septuagenarians Barbara, Val and Mary are warming up ready for a morning of exercise. “We have such a giggle,” says Val, 74. The ladies are members of Silverfit, a charity that encourages people over 50 to lead active lifestyles, run by one of the five women shortlisted for the Sportswomen of the Year Community Award, Eddie Brocklesby. Over-50s can turn up for free and walk, jog or run, do pilates, Nordic walking, cycling or walking football in parks around London.

    Brocklesby is no ordinary volunteer: at 72 years old, she is Britain’s oldest ‘Ironwoman’, having completed two Ironman triathlons (3.8km swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile marathon run within 17 hours). She now uses her passion to inspire her peers to exercise. Silverfit member Barbara, 75, makes the most poignant point of all: “What would we be doing if we weren’t doing this? Sitting in an armchair, alone, watching telly?”

    It is the social aspect that is most crucial to Silverfit’s importance. “There’s a very high denial factor among older people when they are feeling low,” says Brocklesby. “I absolutely, passionately believe Silverfit helps.” There is also a strong support network among the members: “They will tell me if they haven’t seen someone for a while, so we’ll give them a call and see if they’re okay.”

    While some join primarily to socialise, other members take a leaf out of Brocklesby’s book: Eddie Murphy, who is 72, has run 58 marathons since he took up running in 1993, aged 49. “I’m a recovering alcoholic,” he says. “I haven’t had a drink in 26 years. I was told I’d be dead by the time I was 35. Exercising has completely changed the way I feel.”

    “The problem is I’ve got a 25-year-old up here,” he says, tapping his forehead and smiling. Murphy has achieved one of Silverfit’s most important goals: that of “beating the Grim Reaper”. The idea comes from Australian research that measured the walking paces of older men, and then measured again a few years later. The men who had died in between the two measurements had walked under 3mph. The researchers concluded that the Grim Reaper’s preferred walking speed was around 1.87mph, so older people should aim to beat that speed.

    “One of the big problems that doesn’t get talked about much is falling over,” Brocklesby adds. “That’s where the sticks used in Nordic walking are really good because they build up muscle strength in the legs. It’s when you fall over that you become really dependent and it’s the lack of independence that’s the real cost.”

    She mentions the guilt that is felt by her generation as costs of a care rise: “Whenever you read about the ageing population it says that this is what’s going to crucify the NHS, the bed-blocking. What you want is for people to live as long as they can as healthily as they can – that’s not going to cost anything.”

    Many of Silverfit’s members say they feel healthier, happier and younger, and, crucially, they visit the doctor less frequently. Brocklesby obviously has the remedy Britain needs. “Nothing else is working, is it?” she says. “I think there has to be a move towards greater physical activity and I do think the fact that we’re older and running something for older people is valuable and important.”


    Silverfitter Arlene Duff - 'Stop thinking and do it!'


    Arlene shares her story of recovery after a dramatic bicycle accident that left her with multiple fractures, and how being Silverfit has helped her.

    I joined Silverfit in November 2014 after seeing it advertised in my weekly Cadence Cycling Performance Centre newsletter.  I had recently retired to mind my granddaughter three days per week, while her mother returned to work part time.  I had said yes to my son and his wife's request for my baby minding services, since my two passions are cycling and my granddaughter. Tuesday was Silverfit day and one of my cycling days, so it looked like a perfect addition to my retirement schedule.

    From the start, I was impressed with what Silverfit had to offer at Cadence; Pilates, Nordic walking and Wattbike sessions.  Although all three offerings were appealing, I gravitated toward the Wattbike.  It gave me an opportunity to do something different on a bike, to push myself to limits I wouldn't normally aim for on my own and to benefit from excellent instruction. Pedalling while listening to great music and watching pro cycling on the big screen were added bonuses:) It was fun to share cycling tales with others in the sessions and to get tips from Jack, who became our permanent instructor some months ago.  Jack is young and enthusiastic, and he has a terrific understanding of the individual needs of the Silverfit members.  He uses teaching techniques that enable and encourage us to participate fully, but he never forces us to go beyond our limits.  He suggests ways for us to adapt the program to our abilities.  I was the type who aimed for the sky and didn't see any reason to adapt the program in any way, until disaster struck.

    On 30 July, on a country road near Epping I was thrown from my bike and knocked unconscious.  The last thing I remember is watching my cycling buddy head off in front of me, as he was familiar with the route we were taking and I wasn't.  The next thing I knew I was in hospital with a shattered right shoulder and four fractures to my face.  I remember nothing of the accident, and as there were no witnesses, I don't know how or why it happened.  I'm a good cyclist and regularly go out for 100km rides at the weekends.  I negotiate heavy traffic in London to get to my granddaughter's house.  I cycle at a decent speed, but obey the rules and don't take unnecessary risks.  What happened on that quiet country road, I may never remember.

    What I do remember, days later, after all the x-rays and scans which
    revealed the extensive damage I had done, is a curious statement from one of the surgeons.  He was standing at the foot of my bed explaining what type of surgery was about to be performed on my shoulder.  He said that since I was 'young' I would undergo a hemiarthroplasty - a shoulder replacement.  The one word that struck me the most was 'young'.  I am 66 years old, young at heart but not young in years by any stretch of the imagination.  While I probably should have been asking questions regarding what the surgery involved, I instead focused on the surgeon's use of the word young and asked him if he'd read my chart.  He replied that he was well aware of my age, but was also aware of my fitness level which he gauged by my size (I'm slim) and the fact that my shoulder damage was not due to a fall in the bath, but a cycling accident.  He believed, and rightly so, that I would want to get back into shape and back on my bike as quickly as possible.  In order to facilitate that he was going to repair the muscle damage and replace the upper humerus with what looks in the x-rays like a metal mushroom.  Some shoulder injuries in the elderly are 'repaired' by immobilization, not extensive surgery, if possible.  That may mean that future mobility will be limited, especially if a rigorous physiotherapy program is not undertaken. I didn't want limited anything, so was more than keen on the surgery that would give me the best chance of a full recovery.

    Almost three months on, I am recovering, too slowly for my liking, but better than average according to the orthopaedic surgeon. Full recovery can take 12-18 months. I don't have 100% mobility yet and may never have it, but I am sure that in time I'll be back on my road bike. It was barely damaged in the accident, by the way!  I've been back on the Wattbike at the Silverfit class, at first unable to straighten my arm enough to reach the handlebars with my right hand but after two weeks - success!  Silverfit's a real motivator. The nicest thing about my return was the wonderful reception I received from the members of Silverfit and the staff at Cadence.  Everyone was so kind and caring and seemed genuinely happy that I was well enough to return.  That is one of the catalysts for this article.

    If you are thinking of joining Silverfit, stop thinking and do it, no matter what shape you are in currently!  Reasons?

    1. It will give you an opportunity to socialize with people who want to make the most of life by becoming healthier and fitter or just want to maintain their current health and fitness as long as possible.

    2. It is great fun at a bargain price!

    3. - and perhaps most important - if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident of any sort, medical personnel are more likely to see you as someone who is determined to recover fully, not as a frail or unfit senior.

    All the best!



    Silverfitters to be the newest cheerleaders on the block!

    Silverfitters having a go at some cheerleading at our Burgess Park Silver Day. Image ©SusanneHakuba
    Silverfitters having fun trying out some cheerleading at our Burgess Park Silver Day.               Image ©SusanneHakuba

    Silverfitters to be the newest cheerleaders on the block!

    Silverfit's weekly cheerleading sessions start at The Den, Mill Wall Football Club on November 6th. Have a read below to learn about how our instructor Zoe Rutherford got to become a cheerleading instructor and why you should join us for this slightly unusual exercise session!

    " I used to be a dance and drama teacher in secondary schools but left that behind to set up and run the London Cheerleaders a professional team, and to teach dance and cheerleading at schools throughout London. Cheerleading is a fun cardio based exercise that will get the heart pumping, and using Pom Poms throughout will help build strength and ensure everyone gets a full workout while having loads of fun. It is great for all ages and genders getting to dance to upbeat music and even getting a bit of a voice workout learning some great chants to use in any sports occasion!"

    More details on Silverfit's cheerleading Fridays will be on our website soon!


    Zoe - our cheerleading instructor.
    Zoe - our cheerleading instructor.

    Shortlisted for Sportswomen of the year awards

    Silverfit is delighted to announce that Silverfit's founder Eddie Brocklesby has been shortlisted for the 2015 Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year Awards (in association with Vitality) in the community award category - for her work within Silverfit. The ceremony is on November 6th, 2015.

    This award is for individuals who have actively engaged with different groups of people within their community through sport, and it is to be voted for exclusively by Vitality members.

    Eddie is passionate about getting more and more older people to lead more active, and hence healthier and happier lives. Silverfit's recipe of physical activity plus socialising has been very successful:  there are regularly over 160 people who attend our Silver Days @ 8 venues every week. We hope that we can offer Silver Days in more and more location so that more people can benefit from an active life.


    Edwina Brocklesby with her Ironman trophy for finishing the Ironman in Vichy, France in 2015.
    Edwina Brocklesby with her Ironman trophy for finishing the Ironman in Vichy, France, in 2015. ©SusanneHakuba