The Sheffield Care Home Olympics Planning Team

It's a fact that everyone needs to engage in meaningful activity every day if they are to maintain good physical health, mental wellbeing, a sense of identity and their personal dignity.

The Sheffield Care Home Olympics, the first event of its kind in the UK, was set up in response to this. Its aim was to provide a fun activity for care home residents that would get them up and about more.

The event, which took place at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield, involved 120 competitors from 20 Care Home teams. The average age of the resident competitors was 85 and the oldest competitor was 99. Each resident competed with a carer in games including: bowls, skittles and mini-golf. The Lord Mayor of Sheffield awarded trophies and prizes to the most successful teams.

The way the event was set up, with residents and carers competing together, meant it fostered team work and developed more supportive relationships between carers and residents. By competing together, the Sheffield Care Home Olympics promoted links between care homes in Sheffield and improved the image of Care Home residents and staff generally.

The majority of the funding for the event was provided by the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (BHFNC).

The event was a huge success, with evaluation forms showing a satisfaction rating of 95% and an enjoyment rating of 9 out of 10. The event received a high and positive profile in the local media with an event photograph appearing in the 'Age, Snapped' photography exhibition, which celebrated UK Older People's Day 2008. All the aims were achieved and are nicely summed up in the following quote from one of the care home residents who said: "It made me feel as if I am still in the world!"