Company, Camaraderie and A Clean Game!

Date: 14 June 2022   Author: Energise Me

Bowling Goldies aims to provide an informal and friendly bowling session for older adults in Andover to counter loneliness.

Bowling Goldies was set up five years ago and has been purposefully planned to take place on Thursday. At the time, that’s when the ten-pin bowling facility is the quietest. However, as the word of Bowling Goldies quickly spread, they now regularly take over all eight lanes! Since re-establishing the weekly session after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, the Thursday group has grown to nearly 50 people. This led the charity to make the decision to set up a second session on a Tuesday morning.



A lady bowling

Bowling Goldies member mid-action!

Here are attendees top 3 reasons for going:

1.       “It’s fun and I enjoy the company of others in the group. It also keeps me active and mentally fit.” – Anonymous

This is a common piece of feedback given by participants of Bowling Goldies. It’s a large reason people keep coming back for more!

2.       “I come to Bowling Goldies each week as it gets me out of the house, I get to socialise and meet friends who I’ve made through the group.” – Ahmet, 83, who lives alone.
It’s clear that friendship and the company of others are what keep people coming back. The peals of laughter echo around the facility each week.

“I’ve met a great group that are now friends and I look forward to it all.” – Anonymous
Whilst not specifically established to combat loneliness and social isolation, the group is certainly having a positive impact on feelings of company and friendship for older adults in Andover.

3.       “The price here remains reasonable and stable.” – Anonymous
Valley Leisure wants physical activity to be accessible to all so ensure the price is fair. Even with the rising cost of living, members of Bowling Goldies are keen to continue coming as the value of the group is priceless.

Combatting Loneliness

The Campaign to End Loneliness estimate that half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all. Additionally, they suggest also that loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Furthermore, loneliness can cause a 26% increase in risk of premature death.

In Hampshire, it is estimated that 27,000 older adults aged over 65 are lonely most of the time. Those living in more urban areas such as Andover are more at risk of feeling lonely. Addressing social isolation and using physical activity as a mechanism to overcome feelings of loneliness and social exclusion is a key priority for Hampshire County Councils’ public health team. Fortunately, Bowling Goldies does just that and is paving the way to enable older adults to move more and feel good. This is the core mission of the charity.

More Information

Bowling Goldies is an informal drop-in activity at Riverside Bowl taking place every Tuesday and Thursday from 11am to 1pm. Please note that Tuesdays have been set up to cater for demand as the Thursday session is at capacity.

For more information about Bowling Goldies contact the Riverside Bowl team on 01264 568192, or visit their website.

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