Irene Nichols talks about the Community's Extra Time projectLast week we met Alan of our Extra Time programme, as he spoke of how much Shrewsbury Town in the Communnity’s sessions meant to him.
Joining him at Shrewsbury Powerleague every Thursday is Irene, 87, who has been part of Extra Time for four years.
Like Alan, Irene can’t speak highly enough of the sessions, and the group that she has become so close and friendly with.
“It’s the best club I’ve ever been to, it really is,” she said. “It’s a laugh from the time you go in to you go out, and everybody joins in.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re any good at it. I am no good at hitting the ball in rounders, the ball goes the wrong way!
“Everybody cares for one another, it’s great! If anybody is off colour or ill, we’ve got our phone numbers.”
Irene says its the variety of sessions that makes Extra Time so worthwhile, and that it offers what not many others can.
“We do multi sports, cricket, rounders, everything’s a fun game. It’s not serious.
“It gets your joints moving, I used to go to one where you just sat there. I thought, ‘this is boring!’
“We’ve been on walks to the church, we’ve been on treasure hunts!
“But everybody’s included, no one’s left out.”
Being involved in Extra Time has also provided the group other opportunities with Shrewsbury Town, such as flag bearing on our Community Day.
In Irene’s case, it has also gained her a somewhat celebrity status!
“I’ve been to games a few times with the club, and my great granddaughter plays football as well.
“I had my picture on the programme before, and I got a bit of stick and people asked for my autograph!
“But then they couldn’t believe it when I told them about the things we do.
“I love it when people ask, because you can have a good laugh about it afterwards.”
Ultimately though, for a healthy and youthful lifestyle, Irene insists Extra Time is the programme for you.
“Oh, come. It takes years off you! I always claim I'm 29! I’m 87 and I love it.
“Yes I love gardening and all that, but this helps your other joints.
“The laughs you have, and the friends you make...A laugh a day makes all the difference.”
Our Extra Time sessions will be starting up again after the Easter break at Shrewsbury Powerleague (10am-12pm) on Thursday 27th April.
If you’re over 50 or know someone who is and might be interested in coming along, get in touch! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org