Bruce’s family don’t bother calling him if it’s 10am on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.
Neither does Sandy’s family, nor Phyllis’ or Pete’s.
That’s because it’s when Aqua Movers is on at Kensington Community Recreation Centre, the class that has been the heart and soul of the centre for around 10 years.
Aqua Mover is a class designed for senior participants, set in a fun and sociable environment. Physical benefits include improved fitness, mobility, flexibility and strength. Free tea, coffee and biscuits are also available afterwards and are often just as popular as the classes!
Long-time attendee Bruce explains how the group got started.
“We started coming down here about 10 years ago when the old Ascot Vale centre got refurbished, and there was just myself, Mike and one other.
“We started coming down and in the end we never stopped.
“There’s now a nucleus of about 30 of us; some come to every class and some just come once or twice a week.
Even on a particularly cold and blustery Wednesday, there were still 20 come down for the Aqua Movers class, the majority of which hung around for a coffee and a yarn afterwards.
Sandy notes the class isn’t just important for physical reasons, but that it also provides an important social outlet as well.
“I’ve been coming for around 5 or 6 years.
“One of the keys is the fact that it’s aqua aerobics. I found it’s incredibly important because it supports you, you can exercise in the water so much more effectively in water than you could on land.
“But it’s everything, it’s the people, the exercise, you know you can’t sit home all day. Even if you’re sick or something, you just come along and say g’day to everybody, and have a cup of tea.”
This is no ordinary group fitness class for seniors. One of the leaders of the group was Barbara, before a recent move to the country. As Phyllis explains, Barbara would schedule lunches and ensure any member who fell ill were kept front of mind by the group.
“Barbara collected everybody’s e-mails, planned lunches, kept track of anyone who might get sick, and introduced us to new people.
“There was even one gentleman who I met here who was my neighbour, and I didn’t even know. And she introduced me and said: “Do you realise this fellow lives in your street!”
“Unfortunately some people get sick from time to time or will go into care, and Barbara will find out where they are and organise for them to come in for a cup of tea.
“It’s just fantastic for them to have this class to look forward to, and you can tell it gives them such a lift.”
Kensington’s Aqua Movers class runs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am.