Dave Moorcroft Launches ExtraCare Torch Relay

18th January, 2012

Over 3,700 residents from The ExtraCare Charitable Trust's 29 retirement villages and schemes are teaming up with former Olympic runner David Moorcroft in the run-up to the London 2012 Games, as part of a sporty activity programme that will end with their own 715-mile torch relay.

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Coventry's former Olympian Dave Moorcroft (centre) attends the ExtraCare Challenge 2012 Launch with residents from Princethorpe Court, Norman Manning (88) and James Tomlinson (78).

The ExtraCare Challenge has now been officially launched for 2012 by Mr Moorcroft. It is a celebration of activity, health and social opportunity in later years.

Involving a mix of activities (including gyms, running, and cycling) and transportation (including hot air balloons, boats, and beds on wheels), the ExtraCare torch begins its five-month journey in Gloucester in February and works its way to Milton Keynes in July, stopping off in Coventry between the 14th and 28th June.

Residents from Princethorpe Court, one of ExtraCare's Coventry retirement schemes, joined Mr Moorcroft at the Charity's head office to launch the plan, along with ExtraCare activities staff from around the country.

Norman Manning, 88, said that everyone should make an effort to be more active. "Do what you can when you can!" he said. "You don't need to like it, just do it!"

He and his friend James Tomlinson (78) said that the ExtraCare Challenge has brought them closer together as they are now working together to keep active.

Mr Moorcroft praised ExtraCare staff for their hard work with older people in the local area. "I'm delighted with everything you're doing," he said. "You're giving people their Olympic and Paralympic moment and I'm really grateful for that. There's a massive initiative right now to get young people to take part, but we should also be trying to make an effort with older people and you're already doing it."

He added that the Olympic flame has a long history, and said he was glad ExtraCare residents were choosing to hold their own torch relay.

"The flame represents so much: ambition, pride and hope. That flame has burned inside your residents for many years and as you get older there's no reason why that flame should burn any less strongly."

Mr Moorcroft also presented ExtraCare staff with a certificate from Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Lord Coe said: "The ExtraCare Challenge is encouraging older people around the country to fulfil their potential. I am proud that with the help of partners such as ExtraCare, we are delivering our vision to use the power of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to boost participation in sports and other physical activities."

Nick Abbey, Chief Executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, said he was looking forward to the ExtraCare Challenge. "It is a clear demonstration of our collective drive and imagination that we should unite and bear ExtraCare's own Olympic torch from scheme to village and village to scheme - travelling to 29 sites, with thousands of miles and countless activities involved - culminating in a grand celebration at our brand new Shenley Wood Village next summer. I suspect it will be one heck of a trip!"

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Picture: Coventry's former Olympian Dave Moorcroft (centre) attends the ExtraCare Challenge 2012 Launch with residents from Princethorpe Court, Norman Manning (88) and James Tomlinson (78).

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-Notes to Editors-

About The ExtraCare Charitable Trust: The ExtraCare Charitable Trust enables older people to enjoy a healthier, active and more independent lifestyle in a network of inspirational communities, as alternatives to nursing homes. The Charity operates 12 retirement villages and 17 smaller housing developments across the Midlands and the North, including Princethorpe Court, Humber Court and Willowbrook in Coventry. Each ExtraCare resident can expect a safe, secure future, renting or buying a spacious and affordable home with award-winning care and a wide range of social opportunities to enjoy.

  • ExtraCare is dedicated to improving the health of all residents through regular activities and the award-winning Well-being Service. On average, residents achieve a five percent improvement in health in their first year of living in an ExtraCare scheme or village.
  • The ExtraCare Challenge is part of ExtraCare's Activities Programme and is encouraging residents to get active and get involved in the run-up to the 2012 Games.
  • The ExtraCare Challenge has been granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme, which recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  • As part of The ExtraCare Challenge, each scheme and village must clock up 1,000 miles through running, rowing, archery - or anything else they can think of! Non-strenuous activities are also being planned to allow all residents to get into the spirit of the Games. The Charity hopes that, for many of the residents who are taking part, there will be health benefits and memories that last a lifetime.
  • Residents will also be able to "bid" for tickets to see events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by doing something else new: producing a short video explaining why they should have the chance to go.
  • Residents have already taken part in over 60 different activities as part of the Challenge, including zumba, horse-riding, boxing, hockey, and sailing. They've built an Olympic stadium out of LEGO®, made smoothies using an exercise bike, and even driven round the countryside on a motorcycle while carrying a replica of the Olympic torch.

For more information, please visit

About the Inspire programme: The Inspire programme is run by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It is an opportunity for everyone to be a part of the London 2012 Games - a broad participation programme spanning sport participation, education, sustainability, volunteering, and business opportunities & culture. New opportunities are being created to inspire young people and encourage the whole of the UK to join in. The Inspire programme has awarded over 1,400 different projects the Inspire mark.

For more information, please visit http://www.london2012.com/inspire-programme

For further information, please contact:

Lucy Henson, PR officer
0789 105 3062