North Tyneside charity cock-a-hoop about link-up with basketball champions

From left, basketball coach Gavin Wright with Richard Young, Brian Graham, Matthew Wassermann and Ian Love, all members of Age UK North Tyneside's Cedar Grove men's group in Wallsend.
From left, basketball coach Gavin Wright with Richard Young, Brian Graham, Matthew Wassermann and Ian Love, all members of Age UK North Tyneside's Cedar Grove men's group in Wallsend.

It’s good to walk for a borough charity cock-a-hoop about joining forces with Britain’s top basketball team.

Age UK North Tyneside has teamed up with the Newcastle Eagles’ community foundation as part of its ongoing drive to help older people keep healthy and active.

The charity’s Cedar Grove men’s group in Wallsend has taken part in a walking basketball game overseen by Gavin Wright, a coach for the British Basketball League champions, and it is now lining up further sessions.

Joe Peterson, community manager at the charity, said: “The men love the opportunity to try something new and out of the ordinary, and they enjoyed the experience so much that it has become a regular event.”

“We were approached by Sport North Tyneside to take part in the session, and we jumped at the chance.”

The Cedar Grove group, along with another at Wideopen, provides opportunities for older men to meet, try new activities and explore the north east.

Emma Armstrong-Smith, a volunteer at Age UK North Tyneside, added: “At first, the hoop seemed like an impossible target, but after just one hour, everyone had managed to score, and things started to get competitive.”

Bryan Graham, a member of the men’s group, said: “It was good fun and great exercise.”

Another member, Richard Young added: “It was great to see the improvement in skill after just one hour.”

The groups are currently seeking new members and are open to men looking for chances to widen their social networks and keep active.

The free walking basketball sessions will be held every Friday from 1.30pm to 2.30pm at the Parks Leisure Centre in North Shields.

For more information, call 0191 280 8484 or go to www.ageuk.org.uk/northtyneside