Sportsview

Fitter for Life Gymnastics program proves age is no barrier to fitness


Vicsport’s Participation Strategy Manager, Tom Dixon, was recently invited to observe a Fitter for Life Gymnastics program at the Mordialloc Community Centre.

The event was held as part of Women’s Health Week - dedicated to women making health a top priority.

As a member of the Victorian Active Ageing Partnership (VAAP) coordination team, Tom was excited to witness the program first-hand.

The VAAP aims 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.

Around 25 women participated in the Fitter for Life program and the age of participants ranged from late-50s to mid-80s. The session involved people completing a diverse range of gymnastics movements across two circuits, followed by a fun game to finish.

Movements include skipping, box step ups, planking and much more. It was clear that participants not only enjoyed the program but gained strength and coordination which are key benefits for older adults doing sport and recreation programs.

Fitter for Life Gymnastics is run across Australia and has the benefits of building skills for common life activities like walking up and down stairs, playing with grandchildren and even hanging out the washing. The program can be adapted by local centres to ensure it meets the needs of participants.

The Mordialloc Community Centre provides a diverse range of activities including gymnastics, dance, netball, basketball and karate. Running Fitter for Life provides an opportunity for older adults in the local community to build strength within the fun, safe confines of the centre.

“Fitter for Life Gymnastics is a great example of a program with all the right elements in place – appropriate activities, empathetic coaches and the chance for participants to continue to develop new skills in a fun, engaging environment,” said Dixon.

April Wilson, Inclusion & Programs Manager at Gymnastics Victoria, said, “We believe gymnastics is for everybody regardless of their age, ability, background or personal attributes.

“Fitter for Life is one of many programs we offer to create opportunities for people of all ages and ability to gain the benefits gymnastics provides to everyday life.”

For information about Fitter for Life, head to https://www.fitterforlife.org.au/.

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