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CFWT Grant Story: Bailey County Senior Citizens Center

With a grant from CFWT, the Bailey County Senior Citizens Center bought a treadmill and television as part of their Ready-Set-Go! project. This program focused on increasing the overall physical fitness of the Bailey County seniors.

The TV plays fitness classes like A Matter of Balance, Tai Chi, Sit & Be Fit, and line dancing. Part-time coaches and volunteers help with these virtual sessions to provide one-on-one instruction and motivation for participants. The Senior Citizens Center says they have seen “changes in participants' physical capacity such as physical strength, aerobic capacity, ability to maintain balance, etc.” because of these classes.

The organization jumped at the opportunity of purchasing a second treadmill as the one they had was the most used piece of equipment in their facility. Because of the COVID-19 virus, the treadmill may appeal to seniors that might be wary of participating in a class with a group of people. The treadmill also is a great cardio option when the weather is less than ideal outside for a walk around the neighborhood.

A BC Senior Citizens Center representative spoke of one specific senior who benefitted from the program:

“Darwin McLeod was a newcomer to our center. Moving here from Alaska where had worked in the Alaskan oil fields, owned his own commercial fishing boat, and also led his own team of dogs in dog racing. Darwin came back to Muleshoe with awards in many of the top races, including the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest. Darwin wasn’t a regular at our center. Many days he just didn’t feel like coming in. He had heart problems, many aches, and pains for the work and lifestyle he lived in Alaska. He would sometimes go to our machines to work out and give up because he would be in such pain. I contacted Darwin about the new exercise program we were beginning at our center. I told him about our leader, Rashad, who would not only conduct 3 classes a week at our center but would work one-on-one with participants to improve their well-being. I was excited when Darwin showed up for the first day. That day was spent with Rashad getting to know each participant and getting personal information about their abilities or lack thereof and their physical and health problems ad their goal in participating in the class. The class started with a bang. We had a good group of excited participants who were already excited and eager for progress. Darwin was one of those and came every day to work-out. In just a few weeks, he was telling others how great the class was. He was amazed that he could now lift his arm above his head. He said the pain in his shoulder was gone and his breathing had improved. Darwin came to me, encouraging us to get even more participants in the program. He told me, ‘Rashad’s program has truly helped me with mobility and balance. Rashad works on your total body and I need that,’ he added. He went on, “He does a variety of exercises and explains what areas of the body these exercises help. His method of teaching is the best I have ever seen and this is the most beneficial class I have ever been in,” he added. Darwin continues to come to the program and rarely misses a day. He encourages others to stick with the program and shares his success story. He is one of our best recruiters. He also has gotten involved with other projects in our center and willingly replaced one of our board members who had to get off because of a spouse's continued health issues that required her constant attention. He is now serving as our Board Vice President!”

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