Brighton Dublin Fun Fitness

Humans of Grassroots Sport | Terry Keen

Read time 2 minutes

Terry Keen, 10 Today session leader, chats about why physical inactivity in later life is one of the greatest public health challenges.

Terry KeenThe idea for 10 Today came from Japan’s Radio Taiso and huge credit must go to them for where we are today. Radio Taiso broadcast ten-minute workouts across the nation to get people, of all ages, active.

The concept originated in the USA when some Japanese businessmen heard it and took it home where it became mainstream. Exercise helps improve the lives of older people and tackles one of the great public health challenges that the country faces.

Japanese school children, executives and anyone else would stop their daily routine to partake as they became aware of the vital importance of regular physical activity.

Between 12m – 14m people tune in daily and it’s no coincidence that Japan has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world. The phenomenon is such that people will stop where they are to get involved – there is certainly less self-awareness over in Japan!

10 Today needed its catalyst to get it moving and that came from the Demos group, Britain’s leading cross-party think-tank. Together with Sport England and in association with Anchor Hanover, UK’s largest not-for-profit housing provider, they launched the programme to get more people active.

I came on board nearly two years ago and have enjoyed it immensely, with fitness activities for older people being my main focus these days. One of my biggest personal achievements was a 1500 mile bike ride where we visited 95 locations across the UK Anchor Hanover locations with a birthday card for the Queen for everyone to sign. I’ve also done many marathons, ultras and endurance rides – I never finished first but always finished!


I wanted to join 10 Today as I know first-hand the impact sport has on mental and physical wellbeing. My ambition is to get as many people as active as possible, and a big part of our remit is getting those over 55 active through the 10 Today programme. At the moment, 42% of older people are physically inactive, and so any improvement on that can only be good.

Our project is driven by what we call champions. Those people willing to spend some time to help others lead a more fulfilling life. We have around 150 champions right now across the UK who lead our sessions. The word is getting out there thanks to growing partnerships with the likes of London Sport and Active Surrey.

At the heart at what we do is getting people to keep moving. It helps flexibility, prevent muscle deterioration and improves lives. Sport and exercise are wonderful for mental and physical health and also has a special way to bring people together. We want people to be doing more than watching pointless and then head to bed early!

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Once our Pilot project comes to a close, we’ll be reviewing everything in order to keep making a positive difference and it is important to look at the data. Feedback is key to extending the 10 Today programme well into the future.

One element we’ve worked on is making sure people know what the benefits of exercise are not just ‘it’s good for you’. We want to get across that exercise can perhaps help manage or reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and other serious conditions, and targeting particular ailments helps focus and provide encouragement for our groups.

We’ll be developing more sessions and we’re always keen to hear of ideas – the more the better!

To find out more about 10Today, visit