A COMMITTED instructor who helps run a truly inclusive outdoor tai chi class has been nominated for a Harrow’s Heroes award.

We are inviting our readers to nominate their local hero, someone who is an inspiration to their community, for this year’s awards, which are run by Harrow Council and supported by the Observer.

Merlyn Woon, 70, assists with the free session that takes place every day at 9am beside the pavilion in Roxeth Recreation Ground in Kingsley Road, South Harrow.

The retired clinical data monitor said: “We try to get local people together and there are all different nationalities, and all ages range from 20-plus to 80-plus.
 
“We give them some gentle exercises for 40 minutes.We don’t want them to stretch or bend too far.

“The movements are so easy to follow, anyone can do it. No experience is necessary.

“We do the same routine every day – a series of three different exercises. We do it 365 days a year. Of course, during the winter months when it’s cold we don’t have so many people coming by.

“There are a few die-hards who still come and we have six to 10 of them.”

Mrs Woon has assisted the group’s founder Arthur Leongm, himself a local celebrity in South Harrow, in running the group for the past six years.

Like many of the participants, her interest was stirred when she was walking through the park and saw Mr Leong practising in the open air and went over to strike up a conversation.

Mrs Woon, who lives by the park, in Scarsdale Road, South Harrow, said she was surprised to find she had been nominated by class members for the Health and Wellbeing Award category at this year’s Harrow’s Heroes awards.

She said: “I find the class rewarding and I want to bring everybody together. The people who come say they are benefiting.”

Nominate your Harrow Hero online today at volunteering@harrow.gov.uk.

Nominations will remain open until August 5 and the awards will be presented on November 20 at Harrow Arts Centre.