Louise Minchin on taking up sports for the summer
PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:27 17 May 2018
Go on...make a splash, urges BBC TV presenter Louise. She was bitten by the fitness bug three or four years ago and is evangelical about encouraging the rest of us to get moving
This month, walking beside the mighty River Dee with Ruby our bouncy Labrador puppy, trying to teach her to resist the temptation to chase other dogs or leap over-enthusiastically at fellow walkers, I caught sight of a boat of eight rowers heading upstream in the opposite direction, which surprised me.
It is of course, not unusual to see rowers in Chester, but it was the age of these particular athletes that was striking. I mean them no disservice when I say that every one of them must have been over sixty. I have no idea if rowing was a sport they had always loved, or if it was a new pastime they had only recently taken up, but what I loved about seeing them, was that they were out on the river on a stunning day with the wind in their hair, sun on their faces, clearly enjoying themselves.
A few days later on the same stretch of river bank in far more challenging weather conditions I witnessed dozens of courageous endurance runners slide their way through slippery mud right at the start of a 50-mile run. I was full of admiration for their determination to take on such a huge challenge, particularly on a freezing day.
Both the rowers and the runners inspired me, and reminded me that one of the many reasons I love living in Cheshire is because of the incredible opportunities that are available to participate in sport, and the enthusiasm of those who take part.
Whatever you want to do, if you look around you can find somewhere to do it. Whether it is a team sport like football, hockey, netball or cricket, sociable sports like tennis or cycling, or at the more exotic and expensive end of the scale Polo or eventing, there is something out there for you. From those taking part there seems to be a can do attitude that is both refreshing and infectious.
Despite there being so many opportunities to get involved in sport, according to figures from Active Cheshire, 23 per cent of people in our region are classed as inactive, doing less than 30 minutes of exercise a week. Active Cheshire are working hard to address the issue, with their work to change attitudes and make physical activity a part of everyday life.
Being a late convert to the benefits of sport as part of my lifestyle, with my triathlon training and racing, I wish that I could help encourage others to join in, and get active by bottling the joy and energy of those intrepid rowers and runners so we could all share it and get moving together especially during these long summer months.