Caption: Mdm Goh Choo Eng believes in keeping fit and active
“The needs are there in the community. If you go out, make more friends, see more things, know your neighbours by name, you become aware of what’s happening around you. We need to be kind and compassionate. These are values which I impart to my children.”
When the pandemic disrupted Mdm Goh Choo Eng’s group exercise sessions with Geylang Bahru residents, she was disappointed. The 62-year-old fitness enthusiast exercises daily, rain or shine. She had found a group of residents who would exercise together with her, following her moves and stretches.
A few months ago, Mdm Goh noticed that TOUCH Senior Activity Centre (TSAC) located opposite her block had started to resume some activities in line with safe management measures.
“I felt so energised seeing the seniors exercising together. Everyone feels so comfortable with one another. While I can exercise with my other group of residents I thought why not join these seniors too. That was when I realised I had so much to contribute. The seniors also know me. I am a familiar face here,” said Mdm Goh with a smile.
After three sessions, Mdm Goh was approached by TSAC staff to see if she was keen to help lead some of the sessions.
A volunteer and health advocate
Caption: Mdm Goh leading the seniors in an exercise session
Caption: Mdm Goh (middle) and James (right) helping seniors keep fit during the pandemic
Caption: Forging new friendships in Geylang Bahru
Caption: Serving together – Mdm Goh (left) and TSAC staff Mr James Lee (right)
“I have been living in Geylang Bahru for a decade and I have always wanted to serve my community. I shared with my family members and they were very supportive. I am fortunate to have learnt these exercise techniques which I have mastered over the years from my exercise coach. I am glad they can be put to good use. It helps that I am a senior. When seniors see me exercising, they know they can do it too,” added Mdm Goh.
As a homemaker with three grown up children and with time on her hands, Mdm Goh feels she should spend her time meaningfully. “The needs are there in the community. If you go out, make more friends, see more things, know your neighbours by name, you become aware of what’s happening around you. We need to be kind and compassionate. These are values which I impart to my children,” said Mdm Goh.
To pay it forward, Mdm Goh is keen to become a befriender to reach out to isolated seniors during this pandemic.