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Sporting therapy for Norwich Parkinson's sufferers

PUBLISHED: 07:40 30 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:38 01 July 2010

Sarah Hall

A city charity has teamed up with the UEA Sportspark to provide much-needed social interaction and physical activities for people with Parkinson's disease and their families.

A city charity has teamed up with the UEA Sportspark to provide much-needed social interaction and physical activities for people with Parkinson's disease and their families.

At least 260 people suffer from the progressive neurological condition in the Norwich area alone and, although the disease cannot be stopped, it is believed physical and mental activity can greatly benefit a sufferer.

The Sportspark is working with the Norwich and District branch of Parkinson's UK to provide swimming, yoga and social interaction and support for people with Parkinson's and their carers.

Parkinson's is caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brain, which can result in the loss of smooth and controlled movement of muscles and joints as well as causing problems with posture, balance, breathing, general mobility and confidence.

Roy Blower, 67, former Lord Mayor of Norwich, has Parkinson's and has been attending the yoga therapy at Sportspark for the last two months.

He said: “I was diagnosed with Parkinson's in August 2009 and although I am in the early stages of the condition, I am experiencing a shortness of breath and problems projecting my voice.

“The yoga sessions suit all levels of ability. It has already significantly helped with my breathing and flexibility and I leave the sessions feeling inspired not tired.”

Joy Raymer, from the Norwich and District branch of Parkinson's UK, said: “Exercise cannot stop Parkinson's from progressing but it can help to improve and maintain flexibility. Swimming and yoga in particular help combat symptoms of Parkinson's by helping to maintain balance, strengthen muscles and increase mobility. All sessions are available to people with Parkinson's and their carers. For more information about Sportspark classes, membership or timetables, contact the Sportspark reception on 01603 592 398.

Do you have a health story for the Evening News? Call reporter Sarah Hall on 01603 772426 or email sarah.hall2@archant.co.uk

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