So much to report! – Blog by CEO Eddie Brocklesby

An overdue blog, with so much to report, both personal and from a Silverfit perspective!

We are so delighted to have appointed Alan Beer as a part time general manager for Silverfit. It is great to hand over some of the Charity’s operational fun, including all the marketing, leaving me more free time to work on the PR, our valuable data analysis, and train a bit harder for Ironman Austria in July 2020!

Work linked to a 3 year Sport England grant is focusing on those retiring, or already retired. Alison Vine is organising our wellbeing adviser project and Dr Josephine Perry of Performance in Mind has produced a fascinating report on what retirees would like to try. I certainly hadn’t predicted ‘bowls’ coming so high up, but watch this Silverfit space!

Awards for All have just granted us further funding to promote Fun and Fitness sessions, this time based in the National Sports Centre at Crystal Place, with access to that lovely park, perfect for that fresh air activity. Thanks also to Southwark Charities, we will be starting a new event in Herne Hill, including Pilates.

We are working well with our two partners: in Croydon with GLL/Better where we are providing outdoor activities and currently offer 6 weekly sessions, looking to expand to 10 so researching parks in Croydon. Any advice would be welcome.

And Get Living, who are currently hosting a free Cheerleading session on Fridays. Their superbly modernised Community Hub space (that was the old Tesco, first floor Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre) is right next to all the train stations and bus stops and is a great refurbished venue.

Over three days at the Public Health England Conference last week I should not have been surprised by the emphasis throughout on the dire need to help our increasing older population to age more healthily. Our sandwich formula in which socialising plays the key role hits the spot. And we have the data to prove our impact. Thanks to all for filling in those survey documents – every single one counts! And the staff from the Mandarin Hotel have again offered their voluntary hours to help us get those annual reviews done!
Thanks to Trustees and our great Treasurer Steph Vaatz for all their hard work. Sadly after being with us since the beginning Steph is shortly leaving us. We will miss her and will get that advert for a Treasurer out.

I have not had the most productive of racing months. After our experiences as the oldest women’s team to start Race Across America, and Hils awful accident just 350 miles from finish, we are delighted that she is recovering well, albeit still in some discomfort.  Kristin Duffy and her team of Slackline Productions who followed us across the USA, have now completed all their follow up interviews so we look forward to seeing their documentary.

The four of us Serpentine Golden Girls will be forever grateful to the crew for their support, especially our crew chiefs from Just Sweat No Tears. All the donations to Silverfit were much appreciated.  It is ironic as I vigorously promote the benefits of healthier and happier ageing, that I need to acknowledge that accidents do happen!

I was due to do the New York Triathlon – such a privilege to go with my family, and friends. Then, believe it or not, and we scarcely can, the Mayor of New York cancelled the race, swimming in the Hudson, biking to the Bronx and a great 10k run in Central Park because it was  `too hot`, just two days before the race. I have known it to be hotter in Ironman triathlons, and surely the New York forecasters knew about the heatwave four days beforehand and could have saved our travels? Politics writ large, we all decided.

London Tri was a `did not start` – face so swollen by tooth surgery. Then, at last, I managed to complete an event, a fabulous 125k though up and over the Sussex Downs on a great day. What beautiful countryside, and I even managed to ride up Ditchling Beacon – having walked bits in the past – Thanks Liv Bikes – what a comfortable bike!


And as a peak of my recent social life I was Invited to the birthday party of my Nigerian ballroom dancing partner at Nottingham University, all that way back in the 1960s, we did our bronze, silver and gold medals together. I had not seen him for 55 years! How great was that?  So dancing clearly paid off for healthier ageing!

So back to Silverfit and the exciting launch of Silver Saturday this Saturday 21st, in Burgess Park. All Silverfitters will be so welcome to come and meet the Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Sandra Rhule, and two of the former Mayors of Southwark who will be there from 10am to 11am. Free refreshments from 9.30am onwards and the four activities, Yoga alternating with T’ai Chi with James, or Fitness in the Park with Phillip from 11-12am, then walking football with Derek or Tennis with Milton. Finally, guess what? Free refreshments!

And finally we are planning for the Big half on March 1st 2020. We are not demanding a fixed pledge, just `raise as much as you can for Silverfit’. Details will be on the website, Facebook etc next week and link with the email [email protected]. London Marathon Trust asked how many places we wanted, given that we can always ask for more. Answer: 77 – That’s how old I will be next year, so what better way for us to celebrate healthier, happier ageing.

Natalie Rickman

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