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Over-55s enjoy Qigong taster session at Alves Village Hall as part of Royal Voluntary Service First Time for Everything programme

By Garry McCartney

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Over-55s enjoy Qigong taster event in Alves.
Over-55s enjoy Qigong taster event in Alves.

A GROUP of over-55s tried a Chinese martial art at a free taster event in a local community building.

The Qigong session in Alves Hall was part of 'First Time for Everything', a programme designed by Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) and supported by People's Postcode Lottery to support physical and mental wellbeing.

RVS activity coordinator for Moray, Sharon Finlay, confirmed Qigong - developed thousands of years ago as part of traditional Chinese medicine - involves the coordination of mind, body and breath.

She said: "Gentle exercises are designed to optimize energy within the body, mind, and spirit, with the goal of improving and maintaining health and wellbeing.

"Lots more First Time for Everything sessions are planned. They mean so much to the people taking part.”

Julie Lawrence and Archie McAllam from Moray Quanshu led the session, and light refreshments were available after the class.

Heather Foster from Elgin attended.

“I loved it!," she said. "The instructor was very informative, explaining everything step-by-step. This is something I would like to try again.”

Mandy Butcher, also from Elgin, was attending her first RVS session.

She said: “It was a great start! Archie’s explanations of the origins and teachings of Qigong were interesting and gave me confidence. The exercises were challenging yet very gentle, with some ladies even able to join in while seated.

"It was a fun-filled afternoon, meeting up with old friends and making some new, and all capped off with a lovely cuppa!”

The First Time for Everything programme offers new activities like hot yoga, group singing, open water swimming, forage walking, chocolate making and line dancing. According to a recent participant survey, 97 per cent of respondents said they felt happier after attending an event and 93 per cent felt more connected to their local community.

For more information call 07974 415713 or email sharon.finlay@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk.

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