Armchair volleyball - getting older adults active
20th March 2018
Volleyball England has launched a new adapted form of volleyball for older adults in a partnership with an organisation which helps over 55s help live life to the full.
Oomph! delivers projects which help older adults enjoy a better quality of life and is aiming to tackle inactivity and loneliness in the older population. It has been training workers and volunteers in venues catering for independent adults, such as retirement villages and housing associations, to deliver an adapted form of the sport – armchair volleyball.
Designed by Volleyball England, the adapted form of sitting volleyball uses a fabric covered, inflatable ball and bunting in place of an official net. Venues from Lancashire to Hertfordshire will begin running the modified sport classes this week.
“By ‘gamifying’ exercise for older adults we’re making it fun and sociable rather than functional,” says Ben Allen, CEO of Oomph!. “We already use sports rather than pure exercise to motivate previously reluctant participants to join our classes on a regular basis. However, this new combination of Oomph!’s expertise with the appeal and competitive edge of professional sports bodies, is game-changing.”
Volleyball England relished the opportunity to work with Oomph! and prove volleyball is one of the most inclusive sports that there is.
“We are always keen for people to join the volleyball family because we know that everyone can get involved and benefit socially and physically - volleyball is the sport for everybody,” says Gillian Harrison, Technical and Talent Coordinator at Volleyball England.
“Sitting Volleyball is one of the disciplines of volleyball which is already popular and a great chance for players with and without a disability to play together. So, we jumped at the chance to work with the experts at Oomph! to provide an adapted form of the game for the older age group. Their knowledge of how older adults could benefit from an active lifestyle made it easy to develop the concept of armchair volleyball.”
Exercise, in a fun and enjoyable way, can make a huge impact on the lives of older adults and Oomph! is one of the largest partners of Sport England’s £10m Active Ageing Fund, which aims to increase older adults physical and mental well-being through sport.