Women doing tai chi in Memorial Park have raised $13,000 for charities over ten years

WELLBEING: Helen Stark, Mary Harris, Karen Burgess, Dianne Kennedy, Glenys Meyers and Kaye Pritchard.
WELLBEING: Helen Stark, Mary Harris, Karen Burgess, Dianne Kennedy, Glenys Meyers and Kaye Pritchard.

A group of women in Port Pirie are putting their gentle and calming moves of tai chi towards a good cause, as each week their participation money is donated to three important charities. 

About 12 years ago Dianne Kennedy and Glenys Meyers underwent a tai chi course held at the YMCA, when they finished eight weeks later they decided they did not want to put their knowledge to waste, so started practicing in Woodward Park. 

With only three women to start with, the ladies continued to practice until word of mouth spread the news of their graceful form of exercise and numbers began to grow.

They now meet at Memorial Park on a Wednesday at 10 am, where 41 women attend and over the past 10 years, they have raised $13,000 with each woman paying $3 each time they head along. 

Dianne and Glenys, who lead the women each Wednesday say they just did not want to put what they learnt to waste. 

“My thought was with the course that we did, we didn’t want to walk away and not do anything”, Dianne said. 

“It is mainly just to get women out of the house and to get together and it is for their own well being. A lot of people are rushing around in life and some people can’t slow down.”

The gentle exercise is adaptable for all body types, injuries and conditions and the ladies say that they have seen results in themselves and others. 

“Many people have most probably seen benefits. I am on medication as well, but I breathe a lot better than what I did and perhaps my movements are a lot better. There are days when the movements and what have you does help,” Glenys explained.

Dianne added that tai chi is recommended for people with arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and everything they do is calming and leaves your body feeling relaxed. 

As they gather each week, the money is collected and at the end of the year they divide it into three so Greenhill Lodge, the palliative care unit at the Port Pirie hospital and the Leukemia foundation all receive a donation. Dianne says that this year, each charity will receive approximately $800 and they are just thankful to be able to give money to people in need.

“I thought it was a good thing to do. There is a lot of people in Pirie who use Greenhill Lodge, it is a good thing to have in the country. We hope that maybe it can increase in helping to find a cure for things it also helps Pirie. I thought we would divide it up”, Dianne said. 

Tai chi in Memorial Park will recommence on Wednesday January 16 at 10 am costing $3 to participate.