The ‘Move It Aus – Better Ageing’ program is a “fantastic initiative” to get older people active and back playing sport.
The ‘Move It Aus – Better Ageing’ program is a “fantastic initiative” to get older people active and back playing sport.

'Move It Aus': New program to get seniors back into sport

IT'S TIME to get moving!

That's the Australian Government's rally-cry to the 'Baby Boomer' generation after the launch of the 'Move It Aus - Better Ageing' grants program.

The almost $23 million program - managed by Sport Australia - is being viewed as an "important step" to encouraging the nation's mature-aged population to re-ignite the flame of sporting passion and get back on the field, court, fairway or track.

And with the number of Australians aged 65 an over to more than double in the next 40 years, there is no better time than right now!

"Australia's demographics are shifting and while that presents a challenge in broader health terms, there's a great chance for us as a sport industry to make a positive difference to the lives of older Australians through physical activity," Sports Australia CEO Kate Palmer said.

"The Move It Aus - Better Ageing Program is one of the next steps in bringing that awareness campaign to life in a real and practical way."

Analysis shows that though the body's ability to handle physical activity drops as we age, the motivation to remain active stays the same.

Australian tennis legend John Fitzgerald wants to see older people playing sport - especially the game that brought him global fame.
Australian tennis legend John Fitzgerald wants to see older people playing sport - especially the game that brought him global fame. John Gass

And one of the program's key elements is to bridge the divide between enthusiasm and participation.

"It's undeniable that sport and physical activity are beneficial to physical and mental health so as a sport industry we need to challenge ourselves to come up with innovative ways to help older Australians benefit from an active lifestyle," Palmer said.

"Our research tells us older Australians are motivated to be active, but their choice of sport and physical activities change with age.

"Sport needs to be adaptable to these changes."

Australian tennis legend John Fitzgerald hailed the program as a "fantastic initiative" to get older people active and back playing sport - especially one in particular.

"Tennis is a sport for life and can be played by people of all abilities; it's great for keeping fit, healthy and socially connected," Fitzgerald said.

"I've been fortunate enough to play throughout my whole life and I hope that this funding means that more seniors get the opportunity to participate in tennis." 

Applications open for Move It Aus - Better Ageing grants on 20 September and close 31 October 2018. Guidelines are available at sportaus.gov.au/betterageing


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