Our Tai Chi group exercises started with a group of seniors about ten years ago in the CF Richmond Centre mall under the Richmond Wellness Club program, co-sponsored by the Heart & Stroke Foundation. When the program was discontinued due to Covid-19 March 2020, we moved outdoor to the Minoru Park as soon as outdoor gatherings were allowed, with restrictions. Since the opening of the Minoru Centre for Active Living, we have applied for holding drop-in Tai Chi sessions in the centre. From January 2022, we gradually moved indoor as space became available in the mornings of more and more days of the week. Currently we are holding drop-in sessions Monday to Saturday for anyone with membership of the Minoru Centre.
At present we have about thirty regular participants, we have a leader and several assistants. Our group is about 80% of Chinese roots speaking Cantonese & Mandarin, the rest are from Japan, Philippines and various South American and European countries. Most members are in their seventies, with the oldest one at 89 years young. It’s encouraging to see everyone’s health improved or at least maintained.
Some of our members are low-income pensioners receiving Guaranteed Income Supplement. By holding demonstration sessions with refreshments, like the one we held on Canada Day July 1, 2022 morning, with the NSG funds, we aimed to introduce them to affordable Tai Chi exercises to promote both their mental and physical health, to connect with neighbors who are friendly, caring, and with positive outlook on life. We have regular coffee and other social gatherings that members can join if they like. We plan to hold more demonstration sessions in the new year.