Going pole to pole with Nordic Walkers

MORE than five years after volunteering at the London 2012 Olympics, Jean and John Norman are still doing their bit for the community.

John and Jean Norman with Mike Rollason, founder of Nordic Walking UK, during a visit to Nordic Walking headquarters

Inspired by the first home Olympics for 54 years, the couple returned to the North West and set up the Dunwood Park Nordic Walking Group.

Now, Jean and John lead sessions on the second Sunday of every month, meeting in front of the Dunwood Park Bowling Club at 11am.

“Nordic Walking utilises the body’s large muscle groups and uses the arms as well as the legs, as you walk with poles,” explains Jean, who qualified as a Nordic Walking instructor in September.

“Walkers have a wider stride and are able to walk faster with the sticks providing extra stability.

“It is a great opportunity to get your chest out, back straight and heart beat raised.”

John, a qualified Nordic Walking instructor since February 2016, suffered a stroke in 2012 and also underwent a recent knee replacement operation.

But he is putting those experiences to good use and is well placed to support walkers who are post-operative, post stroke, and who are complete beginners.

Jean and John at Dunwood Park Bowling Pavilion

He is also a leader at Lees Health Walks which runs three grades of walks every week from Lees Library starting at 10.20am.

The grades are for walkers of varying ability and are graded A, B, and C. The latter is a short walk finishing with a brew and a chat.

Jean received her diploma certificate at the Nordic Walking UK headquarters in Worth Matravers, Dorset.

Jean and John offer a varied walking programme with historic and community engagement activities with a different focus and area covered each time.

Special guests are invited and the programme on March 11, 2018 offers an expert from the Milestone Society who will explain the significance of historical items found on a walk in Saddleworth.

As part of TfGM Walking Festival, Dunwood Park Nordic Walkers are offering a walk from Hollingworth Lake to Clegg Hall which is an attractive walk passing magnificent hawthorn trees in bloom and the scenic Rochdale Canal on May 13, 2018.

John and Jean Norman with Kevin Edge during a recent walk in the snow

On Sunday, August 12, an exciting walking fixture called ‘Reach for the Skies’ will offer Nordic Walkers on local Crompton Moor the chance to be filmed from the air on the exposed areas of the moor. Walkers are asked to wear bright colours.

The group is friendly and welcoming, offering the loan of walking poles, a brew and a chat at the end of their walks in the Bowling Pavilion at Dunwood Park all for £3 per walker.

Look out for a new, purple Nordic Walking banner in front of the Bowling Pavilion at Dunwood Park. There is no need to book – just turn up.

Meanwhile, Dunwood Park Nordic Walkers took advantage of the winter weather to practise their Finland originated Nordic Walking techniques in the snow at Dunwood Park.

They also enjoyed a film show in the bowling pavilion which transported them from Shaw to the Himalayas.

The trip was made by Julie and Mike Redfern of Dukinfield who shared their experiences of their visit to Everest Base Camp.

Check out Facebook for information: www.facebook.com/dunwoodparknordicwalkers

 

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