Sunday 17 November 2019

'People think when they’ve reached a certain age, there’s nothing for them' - Line dancing Doris (72)

Doris Weldon (72)
Doris Weldon (72)
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

If you think life slows down once you retire, you can think again.

Doris Weldon (72), from Dublin, is a physical activity leader (PAL) – a volunteer who leads activities for older people.

She loves line dancing, pitch and putt, indoor bowls, and going to the theatre and cinema. And once a week she leads activities with Go For Life, a national programme for sport and physical activity for older people in Ireland.

“I just like to get involved and I like to mix with people. It’s a way of getting people motivated, because some people think they’ve reached a certain age, and there’s nothing for them.”

“I do exercises in Dance Ireland in Foley Street with professional dancers and they do contemporary stuff for us. I like line dancing and I like any kind of dancing.”

“It’s good for your posture and it’s for people over 55.”

Doris, born and reared in Cabra West, leads the Go For life games at Cabra West.

“I’m a member of the Glenville Pitch and Putt club in Tallaght, and I go once or twice a week,” she said.

Now living in Tallaght, Doris says she loves the area she lives in.

“You’ve choice of the Civic theatre if you want to go to a show. You’re only on the Luas or the bus down to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, they have good shows on. There are lots of things. You’ve got the cinema as well.”

“With the Go For Life and the Pitch and Putt you’re talking to people and you’re finding out about a show or a concert. You learn what’s on by meeting up with people.”

“I was always pretty active. I was always into something. I grew up always being involved in something.”

Doris, who lived in Israel and Cyprus while her husband was in the army there, still loves to travel.

“I’ve been to Spain, I lived in Cyprus, I lived in Israel for three months. My children went to school in Cyrpus for the year while we were there.”

“My husband was in the army, he was with the UN. So I don’t miss an opportunity to travel.”

Being a PAL is as much an opportunity to meet new people, as it is to get some exercise, she says.

“We all play the games. There’d be a sports officer, and if she wasn’t there then I’d be a PAL, so the games are done for the hour. We have fun, a cup of tea and a biscuit, and a chat about whether someone was going on holidays.”

There are over 1000 PALs nationwide. For more information, see

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