‘Active neighbourhoods for older people’ funding received
Media release: 7 February 2019
Neighbourhood houses and community centres across Australia will be providing a greater number of active programs for people aged 65+, thanks to new Federal Government funding.
The Australian Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association (ANHCA), in partnership with Musculoskeletal Australia and the School of Public Health, University of Sydney, has received funding through Sport Australia to roll out ‘Active neighbourhoods for older people’.
The project is one of 27 successfully funded through Sport Australia’s ‘Move it AUS – Better Ageing‘ grants program, which had an overwhelming response of 251 applications.
ANHCA President Nicole Battle said the funding would improve and expand on programs that already exist and introduce new ones.
“Our sector is already really active in this space. We know older people love their local neighbourhood house because they’re a safe and friendly space to connect, socialise and remain stimulated,” Ms Battle said.
“Many houses across the country provide a diverse range of age-appropriate exercise classes where older citizens can participate in a non-intimidating and supportive environment.
“With Australia’s ageing population continuing to grow, demand for these programs is only going to increase so we welcome this funding which will increase the capacity for our houses and centres to deliver more.”
MSK CEO Rob Anderson said the programs would promote strength, flexibility, balance and endurance in the form of group-based programs such as strength training, tai chi, qi gong, pilates, yoga and walking.
“There is a wealth of evidence which shows that group-based programs offer benefits to older people in the form of social connectedness, social support , physical and mental wellbeing and quality of life,” Mr Anderson said.
“[The funding] allows us to, not only expand our national reach to educate, inform and support people’s musculoskeletal health but help communities come together.”
More information about the roll out of the ‘Active neighbourhoods for older people’ program will become available in the coming months.