• Recreational Sports

    Need

    Accessible and inexpensive leisure activities, which combine physical, cognitive, social and competitive aspects, to engage older adults.

    Program

    Eshel's Recreational Sports Program is a nationwide initiative to encourage older adults to stay active and healthy in order to live longer and more independently. This initiative was developed to prevent, delay or reduce illness and disability while promoting daily functioning and the ability to maintain an independent lifestyle. In 2009, Eshel began to introduce sport and leisure time activities into communities across Israel. The program included organized walking groups, Nordic walking and hiking the Israel trail, petanque clubs (French outdoor bowling) and exercising on outdoor fitness training equipment. Trained older adult volunteers primarily lead these free programs.  

    The Recreational Sports Program is popular among all populations including new immigrants from the former USSR and Ethiopia, and people from all socioeconomic spheres. They are fun, provide a social outlet and can fill one's leisure time.  

    Outcomes

    • Adopts good health behavior
    • Optimal physical ability
    • Participates in physical activities
    • Reduce feelings of loneliness
    • Sense of belonging
    • Professional knowledge on the abilities of older adults
    • Create a positive image of aging and older adults

    Contract dates

    2007 – 2017 (Eshel has phased out of the program, which continues to operate. Eshel no longer has operational and financial responsibility for the program, but does retain limited professional oversight.)

    Partners

    Ministry for Social Equality