Residents from Langford View Care Centre in Bicester donned their running shoes and sports attire and joined other Oxfordshire care homes run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) to participate in the Trust’s Oxfordshire Sports Day at the Kings Centre in Oxford.

The day was designed to enable everyone to join in, with races that empowered all residents to take part, including those with disabilities. Along with the classic obstacle, relay and egg and spoon races, there were also wheelchair races, races for those with walking frames and even seated javelin. The event also provided a great opportunity for residents and colleagues to catch up with other homes across the county.

Stephanie Hall, Volunteering Manager at the Trust, explained: “We have an annual themed fun day here at OSJCT as it is important for our homes to get together and interact. This year we decided on a sports day theme because it is often said that ‘what is good for your heart is good for your mind’ and we know we can improve mental health through reminiscence and keeping active. Everyone can remember taking part in or watching a traditional school sports day, so it will bring back all sorts of memories for our residents.”

And this very much proved to be the case. Barbara, a Langford View resident who used to be a champion runner competing in the 100m for Aylesbury and Slough, came third in the egg and spoon race and said: “Thank you for a brilliant day. I really enjoyed the races and it brought back lots of memories of my competition days.” 

Langford View Activities Coordinator, Beverley Cotton, added: “Being able to do activities that residents might have done in their past is good for reminiscence and really uplifts their spirits.”

Spirits certainly were high as the final race concluded the competition just in time for a well-earned fish and chip lunch. Although Langford View did not get to lift the overall winners’ trophy, Home Manager, Farida Ait-Tales, said: “We have all been looking forward to today and it is great to get together with other homes and to do something a bit different. We have really enjoyed it!”

Summing up the day, Stephanie concluded, “It has been incredible watching the pace of some of our competitors today; some of the races were run in less than three seconds! It shows how we can challenge the stereotype of care homes and what older people are capable of.”