Creating Active Opportunities for the Ageing Community
Victorian Active Ageing Partnership
Vicsport Participation Strategy Manager Tom Dixon is part of the Victorian Active Ageing Partnership (VAAP) advisory group at MOVE helping to bridge the gap between ageing communities and opportunities to keep them active through sport.
MOVE, in collaboration with Fitness Australia and Monash University is coordinating the program on behalf of the Victorian Government.
The VAAP is a three-year project that began in October 2015 aiming to increase opportunities for participation in physical activity for older Victorians, especially in areas of socio-economic disadvantage and among isolated, lonely older people not currently involved in physical activity.
Tom featured as a panelist at the Research and Practice Forum on Thursday 24 August and spoke about the need for older adults, especially those facing social or economic disadvantages, face many challenges in doing physical activity, yet the benefits to them are often more than just the activity itself. This includes greater social interactions and reduced isolation.
He encouraged sporting organisations to create welcoming environments and offer modified versions of their sport which are affordable and accessible to older adults.
Inclusive sport is a key strategic focus at Vicsport because many population groups, including older adults, remain under-represented in sport. Data recently released by the Australian Sport Commission shows that as people get older they engage in greater non-sport related activities such as walking or going to the gym.
For people over 65 years of age, participation in sport-related activities such as golf or team sports is just 37%. Isolation and loneliness are issues among Victoria’s ageing population, and sport can provide environment which nourishes both physical and mental health. Hence, there is a recognised need for sport associations and clubs to be innovative and provide suitable participation opportunities for older adults.
For more information visit the MOVE website.
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