Harpenden schoolchildren make older relatives run a mile

The people taking part in the 'Never Too Late' campaign at Sauncey Wood Primary School. Dennis Cody

The people taking part in the 'Never Too Late' campaign at Sauncey Wood Primary School. Dennis Cody is on the far left of the back row and his nephew Aiden is stood in front of him in the white shirt holding the corner of the banner. - Credit: Archant

Harpenden schoolchildren have been helping their older relatives stay fit and active by running or walking a mile.

The event is part of Herts County Council’s ‘It’s Never Too Late To be Active’ campaign, aimed at encouraging over 50s to take more regular exercise.

To help accomplish this, pupils at Sauncey Wood Primary School in Harpenden have been taking their relatives around the running track on their playing field.

Dennis Cody said: “I came to take part in the Never Too Late event to support my nephew Aiden. We ran a mile on a brand new track which was really good fun, I really enjoyed it. The bad news is I got beaten by my nephew.

“It’s great to see young people encouraging older people and vice versa. It’s a really good thing in the community and for older people generally to have young folk encouraging them to work that little bit harder – it’s great.

“I do try to stay active but it’s not easy – the older you get the harder it is - so this has been really good for me and has encouraged me to do a little bit more outdoor exercise.”

Aiden added: “Lots of children these days just stay inside playing video games so to get outside and try to run a mile is really good exercise.

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“I feel happy because I’ve got to spend more time with my uncle.”

Physical inactivity costs the county more than £16m every year and causes one in six deaths in the UK.

Yet one in four Hertfordshire residents does less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a week.

Hertfordshire GP Dr Richard Pile said: “Physical activity is vital to help prevent and manage a range of long-term conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, dementia, diabetes and depression.

“Becoming more active can help you stay healthy, strong and independent for longer and reduce the need to be admitted to hospital.

“It really is never too late to be active, and there are some great opportunities on offer in Hertfordshire, from free walking groups and exercise classes at local leisure centres, to the occasional swim or bike-ride or even gardening.”

To find out more and sign up to the campaign, visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/nevertoolate