A FOUR week programme of free tai chi events is set to begin this Sunday, which will be open to all ages and ability groups.

Tai Chi in Pendle Parks is set to begin at 1pm at Marsden Park, Nelson, with an opening event that will feature the deputy mayor of Pendle and a Chinese lion performance featuring members of Nelson and Northern Dragons Martial Arts.

This marks the seventh such annual event, with organiser Helena Kean, of Lighthouse Tai Chi, hoping to attract newcomers as well as those more experienced.

She said: “It’s free, people can take part as much or as little as they like and families are welcome too!

“It's just an opportunity to try it out without having to commit to anything and without maybe having that awkwardness of going to a classroom and not knowing what to do for an hour.”

Turning to the health benefits, she added: “It’s relaxing, its gentle, you don’t need any special equipment and you don’t have to buy Lycra!”

Following the initial opening, the second week will be held the following Sunday in Victoria Park, Nelson, with the third held back at Marsden Park and the fourth in Victoria Park again.

The event coincides with national Love Your Park Week and is sponsored by Pendle Borough Council along with The Marsden Building Society and Seb Wilcock Ground specialist.

Ms Kean hopes to draw interest from across different communities and ages groups with the opening event planned to be one of the main initial draws.

This will feature a short speech from deputy mayor Cllr Mohammed Sakib, while the Chinese Lion performance introducing attendees to the culture that created the art they are about to practice.

She said: “Its from the Chinese Kung-Fu tradition, they throw around lettuces because green symbolises good health and oranges because they symbolise wealth so it blesses the park.”

Organisers have taken care to ensure that the event is Covid secure and attendees will be placed two metres apart from each other to make sure that everyone feels safe.

To find out more, go to: https://www.facebook.com/lighthouse.taichi/.