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Case Study:

New Directions Rugby Walking Group get out and about 

The New Directions Rugby walking group is one of many activity groups that the charity run and co-ordinate on behalf of their members.  

Think Active’s Moving Stories campaign is all about featuring the infinite ways in which people in Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull get active and exercise for improved mental and physical wellbeing and this group is a perfect, simple example of how that can be achieved.  

We joined the group on one of their regular walks out at Draycote Water, where the weather was fine, and the conversations were flowing. New Direction members Fiona, David, Edson and James happily posed for photos along the footpath and told us about the different locations they visit on a weekly basis and why they enjoy the group so much: 

“I love coming out and about with New Directions. Seeing wildlife like ducks and geese and swans is brilliant. We have also seen other random things like Army Tanks in a farmer’s field and tractors.” exclaimed Fiona.   

The group is led by two members of staff – Lisa and Lynne who plan the routes and the locations carefully and make sure that they have a varied and interesting time out on the walks. 

“We bring four or five members out on each trip, in our trusty van. Thanks to Think Active who funded this project, we were able to buy season parking passes at a number of different countryside venues in the area, which has really helped. We regularly visit Coombe Abbey, Ryton Pools, Daventry Country Park and obviously here at Draycote too.” explained Lisa 

“It is such a nice activity to be able to share with the members, they get so much out of the sessions. Exploring nature, interacting with other members of the public, spending time together outside of the centre. It is all very positive and something they look forward to.”  

Walking groups like this one are brilliant for keeping active at a low cost and a subtle pace or level of exertion, which means that it is accessible to anyone.  

“I’d recommend anyone to come and visit Draycote Water, or places outdoors like this for a walk. It is brilliant and a nice way to explore and feel healthier too!” said New Directions member Fiona.  

The evidence around walking as a positive form of exercise is very clear and the NHS website states the following:  

  • Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.
  • Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier.
  • You do not have to walk for hours. A brisk 10-minute daily walk has lots of health benefits and counts towards your 150 minutes of weekly exercise, as recommended in the physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64.

Think Active have other resources available for hints and tips on how to get more active and build your own journey in to improved fitness: https://thinkactive.org/tips-to-get-active/  

If you’d like to find out more about New Directions in Rugby too, visit their website: https://newdirectionsrugby.org.uk/  

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