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Aquatic and Recreation Institute gets NSW Government backing for active over 50s program

Aquatic and Recreation Institute gets NSW Government backing for active over 50s program
February 3, 2014

The NSW Government has partnered with the Aquatic and Recreation Institute (ARI) to deliver a pilot program that will help people aged 50 and over to stay healthy and active through exercise.

The ARI, which represents aquatic and recreation professionals in NSW, has been developing the initiative for several years. It acknowledges the importance of encouraging older people to engage in regular physical activity in the interests of maintaining their physical and mental health.

With NSW Government backing, the ARI will be providing funding to aquatic facilities throughout regional and metropolitan NSW to establish and maintain aqua fitness and gentle exercise classes for over 50s in their local area.

Led by qualified fitness professionals, these classes will be held in aquatic and community facilities, and will focus on:

• Falls prevention through improving the strength and balance of participants 
• Combining wet and dry activities water-based classes improve cardio vascular health and range of movement, while land based classes improve load-bearing capabilities 
• Removing barriers 
• Reducing costs and making classes more accessible to seniors 
• Creating a social atmosphere Improves mental health, and makes the classes more enjoyable for participants 

The initiative has received enthusiastic backing from NSW Government ministers, including NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation, Gabrielle Upton; NSW Minister for Ageing, John Ajaka and NSW Minister for Healthy Lifestyles, Kevin Humphries.

Commenting on the initiative, Minister Upton stated "the ARI Active Ageing program is designed to encourage people aged 50 and over to get healthy and active through subsidised aqua fitness and gentle exercises classes run by qualified professionals at 13 pilot sites across the State.

"Some people may think theyre too old to go to the gym or take classes, but the truth is its never too late to start exercising - or to get back into healthy habits."

NSW Minister for Ageing John Ajaka, said the initiative will make fitness programs more accessible, affordable and appealing for people aged 50 and over, adding "the classes will provide a social and welcoming atmosphere while focusing on the development of strength and balance to help prevent falls and improve participants cardiovascular health.

"The instructors will receive training ensuring they are equipped to work with older adults and within regional communities.

"The classes are tailored to people aged over 50 and aim to be enjoyable as well as improved fitness."

NSW Minister for Healthy Lifestyles, Kevin Humphries, said investment in healthy activities now could lead to savings in health and aged care costs in the future, concluding "regular exercise contributes to good physical and mental health however, too many people are not getting the physical activity they need.

"When people take ownership of their own health and wellbeing and make a commitment to stay healthy they are reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, and will stay feeling young."

Pilot sites running the ARI Active Ageing Program include:


• Tamworth - Barraba Memorial Swimming Pool Complex (Barraba)
• Shoalhaven - Bay and Basin Leisure Centre (Vincentia)
• Wagga Wagga - Oasis Aquatic Centre
• Taree - Manning Aquatic & Leisure Centre
• Goulburn - Goulburn Aquatic & Leisure Centre
• Narrabri - Narrabri Aquatic Centre


• Leichhardt - Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre
• Manly - The Manly Andrew 'Boy Charlton Swim Centre
• Parramatta - Parramatta Swim Centre
• Bankstown - Revesby Leisure Centre
• Randwick - Des Renford Leisure Centre
• Sutherland - Sutherland Leisure Centre
• Fairfield - Cabravale Leisure Centre (Cabramatta)

Click here for more information on ARI Active Ageing available on the Aquatic & Recreation Institute website.  




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