By Gill Stewart at
Elaine Mason and her team at the Torbay Care Trust have been pleasantly surprised at the response to their Nordic Walking programme and are determined to keep building on that success.
The project is one of many across the UK that have taken advantage of the Nordic Walking UK community package which provides all of the training and support required to ensure a sustainable programme.
The fomula is simple……… NWUK ensures that every project has at least one FULLY QUALIFIED Instructor who receives additional training on how to administrate and market the programme in order to increase participation and ensure sustainability.
The lead Instructor is also trained to CASCADE train their own Nordic walk leaders (who require more in depth training than typical walk leaders due to the intensity levels of nordic walking) These are often volunteers and NWUK feel it is important to protect them fully from the risk of supervising people who may not have a clear understanding of the correct safe levels of intensity. To overcome this, NWUK provide FREEDOM CARDS which are issued by the lead Instructor to signify the participant has been thoroughly screened and has a grasp of how to nordic walk at a level that matches both the current fitness levels (& health issues) and their goals. This is ascertained via the delivery of the bespoke NWUK ‘Learn to Nordic Walk’ course which uses a unique ‘gear system’ and incorporates behavioural change and motivational skills.
The Freedom cards also come complete with the Safety 24 scheme which means projects do not have to ensure that personal data is carried by Leaders in case of accident. In addition, the cards are recognised by other participating groups which means holders can expand their horizons and join in walks across the UK. There are also discounts including a £5 gift voucher towards the purchase of their own poles which has two benefits for the project
1. It ensures their teaching pack of poles is used only during the tuition phase and that regular walkers bring their own poles once they have learned the technique.
2. Many projects also accumulate commission or pass on further discounts via this process
The final benefit of the NWUK Community package is the inclusion in National campaigns managed by NWUK – extra promotion via the NWUK website and finally the use of a marketing tool kit that includes press releases and editable banners, posters and other essential tools for running a full programme.
The NWUK Community package is a set annual fee which includes the use of all additional training, the webpage, marketing tool kit and the issue of unlimited FREEDOM cards worth £7.50 each!
Read more about the Torbay programme here
See all the other successful NWUK community programmes here