Elderly residents have been in training for weeks and have been flexing their muscles as they get ready to go head-to-head for the title of Scotland’s Strongest Pensioner.

Building on the success of its recent Summer and Winter Olympics initiatives, which improved the health and wellbeing of residents, the leading care group Renaissance Care has launched the championships to determine the strongest senior citizens across the country.

With training exercises inspired by the World’s Strongest Man competition, residents will be working towards personal goals and bests in the famous Vehicle Pull, the Hercules Hold and a variety of deadlifting challenges.

Renaissance Care pensioners are now in preparation to take each other on in separate men and women’s categories, hoping to be crowned Scotland’s first ‘Strongest Pensioner’.

Care home staff have invested in equipment to help the residents train including weight belts and dumbbells, and have even reserved the home’s mini-vans for practicing the Vehicle Pull – one of the competition’s most challenging events.

Taking part in the competition is April Sloof (99). She said: “Those who say they aren’t in this for the glory are lying. I have set my sights on being Scotland’s Strongest Pensioner in the women’s category and won’t stop until I get there, no matter what.

“My mini-van pull technique has been improving every day and I’ll continue to work on that as well as my stamina in the Hercules Hold – it’s all about the gains. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to pull it along with all of my grandkids inside.”

Care home resident, Jo King (96), said: “This competition is more about mental power and technique than it is brute strength. Muscles I have, but pushing through mentally when the pressure is on mid-competition? That’s when we’re really tested.

“I’m disappointed there’s no Fridge Lift this year as I’ve been working on my tactics for a while, but I’m hoping that will be introduced for next year’s event.”

Care home manager, Vera Funnai, said: “We have a great schedule of activities to improve the health and fitness of our residents throughout the year, and this is the ultimate challenge.

“I have complete faith in our ‘Scotland’s Strongest Pensioner’ participants, and I look forward to crowning the winner later this month.”

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