Friday, June 21, 2024

College students provide personal training sessions to veterans

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The initiative was done in collaboration with Sight Scotland Veterans’ Hawkhead Centre, where HND Health and Fitness students from the college’s Paisley campus delivered personalised training sessions, spending their Wednesdays with the veterans.

The programme started in January and saw 12 students paired with veterans to tailor fitness plans and work towards individual goals.

Despite encountering obstacles, such as the withdrawal of three participants, volunteers Ellven Forbes and Michael McAllister ensured that the programme continued smoothly, with 11 veterans completing the initiative.

The participants, aged between 32 and 89, displayed varied fitness levels and abilities.

Students developed their skills in adapting training programmes to accommodate different levels of sight loss and health conditions while ensuring safety and progression.

The veterans hailed the programme, citing notable improvements in confidence, mobility, and overall well-being.

One veteran said: “I am really enjoying the sessions; it’s given me back the push I needed to exercise again.”

Another said: “I can’t believe the difference in my balance; it’s really helped with my confidence and anxiety.”

Claire Whitelaw, curriculum quality leader, said: “The collaborative spirit extended beyond the training sessions, with students acknowledging the warmth and inclusivity extended by both staff and veterans at the Hawkhead centre.

“We look forward to continuing the partnership to enrich the lives of veterans while providing invaluable learning experiences for our students.”

The programme wrapped up with a ceremony to recognise the student’s dedication, with certificates of achievement awarded as well as heartfelt thanks from Sight Scotland Veterans.

The veterans received certificates of participation, acknowledging their commitment to the programme.

Lorraine Bruce, hub coordinator for Sight Scotland Veterans’ Hawkhead Centre, said: “We were thrilled to partner with West College Scotland.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for mutual learning; students adapted training programmes for participants with sight loss and varied abilities, while veterans gained confidence in the gym with new exercises and equipment.

“We look forward to continuing and expanding this partnership next year.”

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