A walking group with heart
Twice a week, whatever the weather, a group of walkers meet at Colonnades Shopping Centre for a burst of exercise and more than a few laughs.
Retailers are rubbing their eyes and getting ready to start their day before the first shoppers arrive, but members of Colonnades Walkers are already hitting their stride. This is the group’s 21st year.
Long-standing member Annie Overmeyer says the group’s focus has remained the same over the years: providing an informal opportunity for locals to exercise and connect with each other.
Annie, a former ten pin bowling champion who has notched up more than 770 walks, explains why she has been involved with the group since its inception: “It’s not only the walking; it’s the socialising and the coffee drinking afterwards!”
There are currently around 70 walkers ‘on the books’, ranging in age from 65 to 85. They meet near the inside entrance of the (former) Myer store for some stretches and movement to music, then everyone branches into smaller groups to walk in or around the centre. Some members use sticks or walking frames, some walk at a fast pace and others are more leisurely. Everyone goes at their own pace.
“It’s all very laid back,” Annie says. “And that’s what keeps it going.”
Friendships form and members look out for each other, particularly if someone misses a few sessions in a row. There are also regular excursions, social events and educational sessions, such as a CPR course sponsored by the City of Onkaparinga each year. The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.15am. New members are welcome and participation is free.
The group is one of 24 local Heart Foundation walking groups within the council area. There are nearly 400 registered walkers living in the region. It’s easy to join an existing group or even start your own.
Healthy Active Lifestyles Onkaparinga (HALO) encourages and supports this and other programs that inspire more local people to lead healthy, active lifestyles.
Members of Colonnades Walkers
celebrate their 21st year in 2018. The group is just one of 24 Heart Foundation walking groups registered in the City of Onkaparinga region.