- Wednesday 25 September 2019
Between them, walking buddies Lorraine Reaves, Jack Pont and Wendy Williams have clocked-up enough kilometres to circumnavigate Australia, and it is the camaraderie, as much as the physical benefits, that keeps them motivated.
The energetic members of Caloundra’s Razzle Dazzlers Heart Foundation Walking group have all received official recognition from the Heart Foundation for clocking-up more than 1000 outings along their picturesque coastal walking route.
Lorraine, who turns 90 next month, is one of the group’s original members and estimates she is now up to around 1500 walks since joining the group just before her 80th birthday.
The group is an important part of her social life – she loves the extended post-walk coffee catch-ups and monthly luncheons and is looking forward to a special celebration with her walking friends for her upcoming milestone birthday.
The grandmother of four also manages two rounds of golf a week and three competitive afternoons playing cards.
“I just love keeping busy and active,” Lorraine said.
Jack, 90, has enjoyed around 1200 walks with the group. He joined to keep himself active after his wife passed away.
“I get out with the group three days per week and try to come down and practice the other days,’’ Jack said.
“I reckon it’s kept me alive the last 10 years.”
For Jack it’s not so much about the exercise but the “wonderful” company of the group of around 25 regular walkers.
“They are just the most tremendous bunch of kind-hearted people. For example, I am selling my car and one of the group members found out so he turned up at my place and spent three hours cleaning the car to get it ready for sale,’’ Jack said.
Wendy, 76, is the latest club member to notch up 1000 walks with the group.
“I walk because I have arthritis, I have emphysema and I have bones that crumble, if I stop walking I can’t move,’’ Wendy said with a smile.
“I always feel so much better afterwards. I walk everywhere. The only time I drive is if I have to put something in my car’’.
Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said groups like the Razzle Dazzlers played a fundamental role in building strong and healthy communities.
“I know countless friendships and support networks will have formed from the simple act of meeting for a walk together and I really encourage people looking for a new activity and to meet some new friends to take the plunge and join a group like the Razzle Dazzlers,” Cr McKay said.
“From our engagement with residents on our draft Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041 we heard that residents envisioned the Sunshine Coast as a place of connection, inclusion and collaboration and the stories from members of the Razzle Dazzlers really capture what these social connections add to people’s lives.”
The Razzle Dazzlers meet at the rotunda near the Happy Valley carpark at 6.30am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the cooler months and from 6am in summer. New members of all abilities are welcome – while some members of the group cover up to six kilometres, others take a shorter route.
For more information on the Razzle Dazzlers or to find a walking group in your area, visit council’s websiteand navigate through to living and community. You will also find other low-cost or free ways to keep active on council’s Healthy Sunshine Coast page at: https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/HealthySunshineCoast.