In late January I put myself forwards for election as a Trustee at CIMSPA.
CIMSPA is the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, formerly known as the Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, is the professional body for the United Kingdom's sport and physical activity sector.
Writing a 200 word nomination 'brief' took 2 weeks, and the weeks waiting for the voting was only made possible by keeping busy!
Finally the results were announced, and I was amazed to get an email saying I had been elected.
My Board blurb is below, and you can find out more here: https://www.cimspa.co.uk/about-cimspa/cimspa-governance/board-committee-panels/board-of-trustees/
Walking into a room filled with people from the sports world - and not knowing anyone!
I was privileged to have been nominated by my MP, Theresa Villers, as a Community Sports Champion.
It all began when I received an email from 10 Downing Street inviting me, as a nominated Community Sport Champion, to attend a reception hosted by Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at 10 Downing Street. I emailed back asking if this was a hoax and being assured it wasn’t! I replied, saying I would be delighted to attend.
Anyone who knows me knows I like to be early, and I was first in the queue. Passing through security, I saw a deserted Downing Street, and the big black door was shining as only it could. I was told to knock, and so I did. As I removed my hand from the door, it opened, and I was engulfed in a reception room that seemed too big for the front door.
We were instructed to turn our mobiles off and leave all devices by the front door. Would we be asked to drop them in a box or a glass bowl? Would they be put it in an envelope with a raffle ticket to claim it back? It was beautifully simple; we were directed towards what might have been a repurposed postal sorting box, and being first, I deposited my phone into a pigeon hole, box number 1.
Then, walking as slowly as I could up a flight of stairs, I studied the portraits of each of the Prime Ministers, almost expecting one of them to disappear, as in Harry Potter, and pop up elsewhere. The uniformity of the frames against the pale yellow wallpaper took my breath away, and at the top of the stairs was a Lowry, which took up almost the whole landing wall. I only wished I had more time to stand and stare, but the quick glimpse was magic to the eyes!
I entered three empty adjoining rooms that looked out over Horse Guards Parade with a private view of a public tourist attraction. Very slowly, the room filled with volunteers nominated by their MPs for contributions to sport in their communities. Staff negotiated the room and clusters of people with canapes and wine.
Not knowing anyone, I mingled and made conversation. We were the people who delivered at the grassroots level, the local clubs, small charities, and volunteers. Everyone had their own story, nominated by their MP as a way of saying thank you for growing and supporting their community.
We were finally ushered in one long, slow queue to have our photograph taken with Lucy Frazer, who, like all the MPs, had been held up in a parliamentary vote.
As a movement and dance representative and former Chair of the Movement and Dance Division, I have attended many events, but this was the first time I have attended something as a personal thank you from my MP for my contribution to the sector. It was magical, and as I said to a member of staff…’In case I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time tonight’ (Pretty Woman).
There are many shades of Blue – my shed is blue, and as I type, the sky is a clear, bright blue.
The third Monday in January is sometimes called 'the most difficult day of the year' because, according to Sky Travel, in 2005, the third Monday in January when happiness levels fell to the lowest levels of the year.
Since then, it has become a day for promoting mental health awareness and self-care.
Share a cup of tea or coffee with a friend and have a chat, turn the Blue into a Brew, and pop along to Action for Happiness (https://actionforhappiness.org/calendar) for something positive every day!
Why did the weather turn so cold this afternoon? Because it was our first class back after the Christmas break.
I got to the hall and the heating was on, and thankfully everyone braved the few fluttering flakes of snow. New moves and combinations for the new year plus old favourites that we all enjoy.
One lady, who has recently celebrated her 100th birthday asked if she could still come to class as she was feeling not as nimble as she used to. Of course, I said...the class is designed for youngsters like you!
There has been a lot of talk about mental wellbeing and the purpose of exercise, how social prescribing 'makes a difference'. I know the class is a lifeline for some, a hobby for others - but a place where we all meet for ourselves so we can be ourselves!
One class down- three more to go!
Twenty-one hours is not a full working week!
We all want people to be more active, and good instructors create an active nation. We all have different incentives to exercise – from the scales creeping up to a tight waistband. But how realistic are we in setting goals for our classes?
I was enjoying a class - a class for me that I do not need to plan or remember what I am doing next - and the instructor told us, with a cheeky grin, that this exercise was preparing us for the summer…which summer, I asked? 2025?
The other class members giggled, but I was serious.
Summer (June 2024 ) is only 21 weeks away from today, 4th, January.
That’s 21 hours, assuming the class is an hour. 17.5 hours if the class is 50 minutes.
That isn’t a full working week!
But, if this summer is like previous summers, I may be happy with my winter body under my raincoat. In the meantime, I will enjoy my class for 'me' and be realistic in setting expectations for my classes.
Today, the New Year Honours List was published, recognising the achievements and service of 2.399 extraordinary people across the UK.
The government says the aim of the honours system is to credit people who "made achievements in public life" and "committed themselves to serving and helping Britain". It also adds that "they'll usually have made life better for other people or be outstanding at what they do".
Was it a coincidence that today, the Action for Happiness Calendar reminder was to let someone know you appreciate them and why.
At the end of every 'last class of term', I always gather the class into a huddle and say... 'thank you for coming each week and for coming back after each holiday! Without you, there would be no class, and you help to make the magic'.
Thank you to everyone who helps make my classes happen:
The people who attend
The venue management
This popped up- those of you who come to class know I am always saying move across the floor like the Billy Goats Gruff...Billy Goats Gruff...tripperty tripperty trip!
I've been nominated!
I received a surprise email from One Dance UK with a congratulations on my nomination for an award.
The One Dance UK Awards are an annual celebration for people from across the dance sector to unite, celebrate, acknowledge and reward the people who have made an impact on the vibrant UK dance landscape.
A nomination is almost as good as making the short list because it means someone has taken the time to put pen to paper, and recognises the ‘something’ you have done.
The dance world is full of talented people, I doubt I will make the short list, but that doesn’t matter, just knowing someone has put pen to paper is good enough.
It means so much to know that someone has taken the time to nominate me.
Medau Movement - exercise with a scarf?
Isn't that for children?
Release your inner joy, share a smile and move!
'I did not think I could work so hard with a scarf'
'I felt surprisingly stretched- something I was not expecting'
'I could do the whole class!'
The scarf make me work the whole of my arm'
Not all exercise classes are the same- it is not what you do- it is how you do it.
Medau Movement at Freston Garden and Elm Court - a full hour of movement and exercise to music.
Movement and exercise to music- Southgate and Winchmore Hill- an exercise class for mobilisation, falls awareness, balance and friendship!
Movement and dance for myself.
I come to class for me; what does that mean?
I deliver classes to adults of all ages, from seated classes to whole-body one-hour sessions where the chair is only used for coats, jackets, and water bottles.
Over the past 20+ years, my class participants have said lovely things, but the one common thread is that people come to class for themselves. It isn’t a chore or an obligation; it isn’t an unrealistic commitment, but something that fits into their week.
The Social Value of Movement and dance states that ‘The largest contribution to the £3.49 billion is the uplift in mental wellbeing provided to participants and volunteers in movement and dance, at £2.01 billion, or 59% of the total social value contribution. Critically, this represents a unique contribution of movement and dance of improved mental wellbeing for 1.2 million people through participation, plus 195,000 through volunteering.
Class participants may have been told to take more exercise, but when you actually look at the people in the class; the lady who has had a cancer scare, the person who walks in alone but walks out talking to someone, the knee that wouldn’t bend to 90 degrees but now does, the faces that light up at a song, and the collective sigh at the end of something that was just ‘so lovely to do’ you know you are delivering more than exercise.
The benefit of any class, from evidenced-based fall prevention to adult tap or ‘keep fit’, is the satisfaction of improving bit by bit each week. It may be balancing for longer, nailing the tricky time step or transition. It can be doing one more, better, slower or faster. It isn’t a team activity, but there is a collective satisfaction of finishing in time to the music. The personal connection is when you turn to smile at the person next to you, dance with a new partner or share a box of chocolates on a birthday. The class is an escape from the pressures of exams, caring for partners or parents, and the emotional support from those who really understand the daily burden of unexpected medical diagnosis and treatments, the newly widowed – it is a place with like-minded friends and a place to be yourself.
Movement and dance contribute to mental uplift, but whatever triggered the initial motivation to join the class is paid back in multiple ways - in laughter, smiles and being part of a class community.
Exercise With Tracy
EXTEND Exercise and Medau Movement teacher. Keeping the muscles working, the joints mobile and having fun!