Tuesday 5 September 2006 saw 17 brave over 50s attend the first ever social sports session at Brunel. Instrumental in setting the club up was local volunteer John Thirkettle, who was inspired by the impressive sports facilities on offer at the University. He worked alongside then Director of Sport Paul Dimmock to set up the club for people over 50 who were looking for an exciting and social way to stay active.
Every Tuesday and Thursday members arrived for a 10am warm up/aerobics class taken by popular instructor Karen Orchard. After this they could choose from activities ranging from badminton, squash or tennis to a session in the gym.
The club grew rapidly over the years, both in membership and activities on offer, with Zumba, Tai Chi, Tennis, and Walking Football being offered at various points. Soon the club formed its own committee and expanded its social offerings as well, organising outings to the South Downs and Littlecote House as well as hosting numerous Christmas lunches.
Now 180 members strong, the group came together earlier this month to celebrate their ten year anniversary. Following their latest workout, the group gathered for celebratory drinks and muffins in BeActive, before hearing a few works from founder John Thirklettle along with leading committee members Ron Eden and Trevor Ellis.
Current Assistant Director of Commercial Services and acting Head of Sport, James Budkiewicz, attended on behalf of Brunel, and spoke of his admiration for the group, and the inspiring example they gave to others.
Congratulations to them all, and here’s to the next 10 years!