SWEAT is sweet for Sydney explorers
A desire to discover their new hometown while practising English saw the birth of the walking group Sydney Walk Eat and Talk – SWEAT, which was founded by Robert Wood.
The group started in 2001 as part of an English as a second language program run by volunteers. At the start there less than 10 people in the group, mostly from European backgrounds.
"Word spread and now we have over 115 people on our books, mostly from Asia, who are keen to meet new friends, learn English and explore Sydney," Mr Wood says.
Today, there are 3 group leaders, Robert Wood, Phillip Elwin and Lyn Cobb and they run 20 walks a year, which attract up to 40 people on each walk.
SWEAT has gone as far afield as Kiama and the Blue Mountains but they've also explored locally on coastal and harbour walks with the City's guided walking tours.
"These walking guides are excellent – easy to follow and with great information. Walk on Water and Skirting the City are 2 of our favourites," Mr Wood says.
The SWEAT walks are usually about 5km and are "not too strenuous".
"We amble along, chat, rest, share food and learn something new about Sydney. Walking is such a pleasant thing to do and it’s really brought friends together and kept us all active for years.
"I was 65 when I started this as a way for people to pick up a bit of English. Now I’m 80 and still walking every day. It really is the perfect form of exercise," Mr Wood says.
Call 02 9357 2164 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the group and its next walk.
After dinner walking group
The after dinner walking group was inspired by the OPEN Sydney night-time economy strategy and action plan 2013-2030.
While anyone can join the new walking group, it is targeted at Sydney residents aged over 55 and aims to bring together like-minded people who are already active and want to stay fit by walking and exploring Sydney’s outdoor attractions.
The Australian Medical Association of NSW is also supporting the walking group initiative. Vice-President Dr Saxon Smith said it was great to see an initiative that encouraged ways of keeping fit.
The after dinner walking group is part of the City of Sydney’s aim to encourage walking for the benefits it brings to individuals and the community.
To increase walking levels, the City aims to ensure walking is a pleasurable, rewarding and practical way of moving through Sydney’s streets.
Our residents have told us that while we offer a fantastic program of activities and events for older people at our various community centres during the day time, but there needs to be more on offer for older people after dark.
Judging by the overwhelming response to the previous walks, Sydney’s older walkers relish the opportunity to get active and really enjoy the city together when the sun goes down.
The next walk will be held on 29 September 2015 during Art & About and is coordinated by the City's Harry Jensen Centre. You can download and complete the registration form. For more information call 02 9244 3696 or email email@example.com.
Last updated: Tuesday, 25 August 2015