Newport walking group step to it to reach third year anniversary
Newport's Community Walking Group has been putting in the miles to reach its three year anniversary.
The group which started as a way for men to shake off the pounds after Christmas has evolved into a popular community group, fostering fitness and friendship.
Councillor Peter Scott, who founded the group, said he was really pleased that there was still high attendance for the group's twice-weekly walks.
"It started three years ago when I had this thought about overweight men initially," he said. "Its first title was the over 50s men's walking group. I was just thinking about people like myself who ate and drank too much around Christmas and needed to do something in the new year.
"On the first day though, a tribe of women turned up and not that many men. So then I called it the over 50s group.
"And then I had people saying they were younger and they wanted to come. So it ended up becoming an actual walking group for any age.
"Generally, its for fitness and exercise but it also turned into quite a social group – people who are lonely might come and make friends, and we all make friends as well.
"I have always advertised it as a social thing. People can even bring their dog if its on a lead."
The group continued even through the coronavirus pandemic, and had people walking in two's and socially distanced when the rules required.
Group membership is between 35-40 people and there is no pressure to attend every walk.
Councillor Scott added: "I am really pleased that the numbers have stayed high these past three years and people obviously enjoy it and keep coming back.
"It's very much a community thing and anyone can come. It doesn't matter your age, all we say is you must have some level of fitness because most days we do walk about five miles. We don't walk fast but a basic level is needed.
"And a big thank you to The Hub cafe in Newport for hosting our little celebrations on Thursday."
The group walks every Thursday at 10am and Sunday at 11am from the Guidhall in Newport.