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September
Healthy Elderly Scheme promotes exercise for the aged

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The Healthy Elderly Scheme launched by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) aims to encourage senior citizens to develop a healthy lifestyle by participating in sports and exercise.

"The health of senior citizens has always been a primary concern for the Government," the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong Sean-yee, said at the launching ceremony of the scheme, held at the Island East Sports Centre today (September 23).

"Improving quality of life for the elderly is also one of the Government's policy objectives," Ms Wong said.

Also officiating at the ceremony was the Chairman of the Eastern District Council, Ms Ting Yuk-chu.

Ms Wong said that under the Healthy Elderly Scheme, LCSD actively consults with voluntary associations in different districts and provides free sports facilities where they may organise activities for the elderly.

"What's more, 'elderly ambassadors' are being invited to act as coaches who can teach the participants to get the most enjoyment out of sport," she added.

Under the Healthy Elderly Scheme, senior citizens aged 60 or above can participate, at no charge, in recreational and sports activities during non-peak hours at LCSD sports centres in 18 districts.

Through March next year, the scheme will offer 381 free programmes for as many as 45,000 participants. Some programmes have been running since May this year.

The free programmes include table tennis, badminton, gateball, indoor lawn bowls, American pool, indoor golf, tai chi, baduanjin, elderly fitness, social dance, Chinese dance, chess, and arts and crafts.

Some 550 senior citizens from 13 voluntary agencies participated in today's opening ceremony. Besides various performances staged by the elderly, the day's activities included dancing, tai chi, fitness exercise, lawn bowls, table tennis and health seminars.

In 2001 and 2002, LCSD organised over 5,700 sports and recreational programmes that attracted over 500,000 elderly participants.

Other popular activities among the elderly include swimming, picnicking and fun days.

Senior citizens who wish to join the Healthy Elderly Scheme should approach their District Leisure Services Offices or call the department hotline, 2414 5555, for details.

End/Tuesday, September 23, 2003

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