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Council and NHS praise 800 walkers over challenge
6:00pm Sunday 12th August 2012 in Chippenham
WILTSHIRE Council and NHS Wiltshire paid tribute to around 800 people who set out to improve their fitness during the 10 week Olympic Torch Relay, by holding a Wiltshire Walking Festival in
The three day event held for users of Get Wiltshire Walking, the Active Health programme and other interested walkers, was the conclusion of an Olympic pedometer challenge which saw participants measure and try to improve on the number of steps they took each week during the torch relay.
At the festival, which ran from Tuesday to Thursday, walkers came each day with many saying their fitness and confidence improved during the Olympic challenge and from being a part of the council’s free walking groups.
One of those who has benefited from the walking groups, run by Get Wiltshire Walking across the county, is Elaine Corner, who had the lower part of her left leg amputated following a collision with a van while she rode a motorbike, in Tidworth, last year.
Mrs Corner, who lives in Bullford and works as an electronic technician for the Army, said: “I’ve always loved walking and these groups have given me my life back. They’ve allowed me to get out walking again and the social aspect of them has been hugely beneficial too.
“A lot of people think they are just for old people but that simply isn’t the case; they are fantastic for those recovering from injury and illness as well as those who just like a walk.”
Over the three days visitors of all abilities and ages could try three routes of varying difficulty around picturesque Lacock.
Maggie Rae, director of public health with NHS Wiltshire, said: “Both the Active Health and Get Wiltshire Walking schemes have been great successes and people taking part are really beginning to reap the health benefits.”
It is hoped that those who took part in a walking challenge, not already part of the walking groups, will join one of Get Wiltshire Walking’s sessions.
Stuart Wheeler, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for leisure, said: “This challenge has helped to build excitement for the Olympics and ensured that participants in our health projects continue to become more active.”
For more details, visit www.
wiltshire.gov.uk/getwiltshirewalking or call Sarah Sims on 07846 100233.