Malcolm Brown and Radha Bellur represented their fellow Master Gardeners at the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council Awards at Parklands Leisure Centre in Oadby last night. Our team of 12 Oadby & Wigston volunteers were shortlisted nominees for the Physical Activity Participation Award, they are shown here with Coordinator Alison McGrath, displaying their nominees’ scroll.
This award is for individuals or community groups that have improved the health, well being or physical ability of themselves or others. This may include facing and overcoming personal barriers and challenges, or inspiring others to take up new challenges to achieve their own goals.
Gardening is increasingly being recognised as an important way of encouraging people of all ages to get up, out and active. Those who are physically able can break a sweat and lose some weight with a good session of compost turning or cultivation and stretch their muscles pruning and weeding. In June, many of the 120 pupils of Manor High School who participated in the school’s Green Day, digging new garden beds, commented on being ‘out of puff’ and enjoying the exercise. At the other end of the scale, getting outdoors and pottering around a garden can help less mobile people at risk of falls develop better balance and coordination. Having a garden to play and grow in is a great pull for children to get outdoors and active. This is a particularly important consideration in a world where there are physiotherapy courses for under 5s with delayed physical development after a lifetime of being either cooped up indoors or strapped into a buggy.
Ultimately, our Master Gardeners were beaten by a lady who has worked for years supporting an activity group for older Asian women, but nevertheless, they enjoyed an inspiring evening amongst like-minded people dedicated to helping others enjoy sharing sports and other non-competitive physical activities together.
Their work to inspire their local community to get involved in food growing, whether at home or through community gardening received well deserved public recognition, with a poster describing their activities and a photograph taken with Tom Daly on stage as they received their nominees’ scroll. This was followed by a buffet and time to mingle with the other nominees and share more of what they do with others.
We are very proud of all our 67 Master Gardener volunteers across the county, and the tremendous effort they put into inspiring and supporting new food growers. In under three years, they have become a well recognised part of many local communities and valued contributors to existing and developing local community food networks. Keep up the good work everyone!