Getting Out and Active for Movember
Made possible by GOGA, inspired by committed leaders
This month, we are focusing on men’s health to celebrate Men’s Health Awareness Month or as some people may know it, Movember! In Fife, the Get Out Get Active (GOGA) programme has had a big impact on the lives of Dean Hogarth (44) and Stephen Russell (38).
Just over a year ago, Dean was encouraged to sign up for GOGA activities by his carer. He began attending two sessions a week - Wednesday swimming improvers and Thursday multi-sports at the Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre. Dean really enjoys swimming and with support from Disability Sport Fife swim teacher, Kathy Bijak, his ability and confidence in the water has improved greatly. Next year, he is hoping to compete in the Fife Swimming Championships.
On Thursdays, Dean joins around 60 other people with additional support needs for GOGA Fife’s flagship programme of the week, multi-sports! From the time he sets foot in the games hall Dean is active with support from coaches, volunteers and peer mentor volunteers. Dean used to attend these sessions with his carer but within a few weeks he was confident to attend on his own. Dean now travels independently to sessions, he usually arrives early and enjoys a bit of social time in the café with new friends he has made.
Last year, Dean competed in the Fife Track and Field Championships for the first time and was then selected for Team Fife for the Scottish Championships in Grangemouth. This was a very proud moment for him, and wouldn’t have been possible without support of GOGA in Fife. Dean is planning to join the local inclusive outdoor bowling club and link up with other GOGA players who are now full members at the club.
Stephen was encouraged to sign up for the GOGA in Fife movement by his wife Susan. Stephen used to be an active Disability Sport Fife member, but recently a number of reasons meant he couldn’t take part. However, the GOGA programme motivated Stephen to get going again and he signed up for Kathy’s adult swimming improvers’ session. Swimming gives Stephen something to focus on and swim teacher, Kathy has seen him make considerable progress in a short time. Like Dean, Stephen travels independently to swimming, sometimes he cycles and other times he takes the bus.
Stephen is now keen to add badminton to his weekly active recreation programme and everyone at GOGA Fife is looking into how we can support him to do this. Being active reminds Stephen of his school days, where he enjoyed swimming a lot and was a competent performer. The GOGA programme in Fife has helped him to enjoy that feeling again, he is now training for galas, improving his fitness, socialising with other people and most importantly feeling less anxious and most relaxed.
Stephen and Dean hope sharing their stories will encourage other men to get out and get active because there is plenty to offer in Fife.
The GOGA programme in funded by Spirit of 2012.