Walking rings around town

24/04/2020 // by admin

BONNIE Doyle has been walking laps of Mildura Central for eight years, and now plans to “walk around Australia”.

Still going strong: Walkers Lorraine Middleton, Ron Furey and Bonnie Doyle have been walking with The Mildura Central Walking Club for years. The group celebrates its 8th Birthday on August 7. Picture: Clancy Shipsides

That is no mean feat for an 83-year-old who has missed only one day with the Mildura Central Walking Club, and that was the first day the club started.

As the club celebrated its eighth birthday yesterday, few would try to calculate the number of laps of the mall she has completed.

Last week the club started a challenge to walk “around Australia on National Highway One”, a total of about 14,500km.

Each member has been given a pedometer, donated by the shopping centre, on which they can record the distance walked each


The total distance walked by members is marked on a map of Australia to highlight their progress.

SCHS allied health assistant Linda Curran said 115km had been completed last Tuesday.

“When we get to Sydney we’re going to walk up the steps and across the bridge,” Ms Curran said.

“We’ll keep on going until we get to the finishing point in Hobart.”

Every Tuesday and Thursday club members walk laps of the shopping centre between 8am and 9am, with some finishing up to 10 rounds. One lap is 680 metres.

About 100 members, ranging from 22 to 90 years old, are registered with the club, with an average of 60 participating each session and up to 85 in warmer months.

Bonnie said she used to work in a service station and taught highland dancing for 50 years.

But in her later years she felt she “wasn’t getting enough exercise”.

Bonnie said the walks are also a great social gathering for members, who enjoy a morning tea and a chat afterwards.

There is no competition and members are encouraged to walk at their own pace.

An initiative of Sunraysia Community Health Services (SCHS) and Mildura Central, the club was started to help promote health and wellbeing in the community.

“SCHS realises that health and wellbeing relies on getting 30 minutes of physical activity a day and eating well, ideally five serves of vegetables and two of fruit each day,” SCHS primary health manager Mary Bassi said.

“Socialising and communicating with others is also an important aspect of wellbeing.”

Ron Furey, 69, has been walking the shopping centre for four years to keep active.

“I think it’s good for the community, the weather’s right – it’s never hot, it’s never cold,” he said.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Friday’s Sunraysia Daily 08/08/2014.

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