By Gill Stewart at
Jean Norman from Oldham qualified as a Nordic Walking Instructor in September 2017. She came into the Nordic Walking UK headquarters in Worth Matravers, Dorset, to collect her certificate as she wanted to meet the HQ team.
Jean told us how she and husband John have been Nordic walking since 2012 after being London Ambassadors during the Olympic Games and wanted to continue to do volunteering by offering Nordic Walking at Dunwood Park, in Shaw, Oldham, after the Friends of Dunwood Park had won a lottery win of £1.5 million. They have formed Dunwood Park Nordic which attracts 10 walkers at each monthly session which takes place on the second Sunday of month from Dunwood Park Bowling Pavilion at 11:00 hours.
Jean and John offer a varied programme walking, historic and community engagement activities with a different focus and area covered each time. Special guests are invited and the programme on 11th March next year offers an expert from the Milestone Society who will explain the significance of historical items found on the walk. They offer loan of the walking poles and a brew and a chat at the end of their walks in the Bowling Pavilion at Dunwood Park and charge £3 each walker.
Jean’s Diploma training was funded by Oldham council. ‘To qualify for the funding I had to submit evidence including customer satisfaction surveys and profiles of the walkers,’ said Jean, ‘I had already followed some health evaluation processes through training I had done with Oldham’s Health and Wellbeing Service’.
All Jean’s hard work towards her Diploma and her skills in evidence-based learning stood her in good stead recently when she successfully applied for a post as a Health Coach with Greater Manchester Mental Health Team.
A qualified Nordic Walking instructor since February 2016, Jean’s husband, John, additionally leads Lees Health Walks within the Oldham Borough, in spite of having had a stroke in 2012 and a recent knee replacement. Walks are offered on Tuesdays at 10:20 hours starting from Lees Library.
On Sunday 12th August an especially exciting walking fixture called ‘Reach for the Skies’ will be offered for Nordic Walkers on local Crompton Moor who will be photographed from the air on the exposed areas of the moor, (weather permitting). Walkers are asked to wear bright colours.
Whilst at Purbeck Jean and John purchased one of the new Nordic Walking banners and placed it in front of the Bowling Pavilion, where they meet. A picture of this may be found on their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/dunwoodparknordicwalkers/
One satisfied customer’s 5-star review on their Facebook page went on to say, ‘I look forward to the second Sunday of each month and am disappointed when I have to miss it when I am away on holiday! You’re doing a great job, John and Jean, keep up the good work!’