Rural exercise program aimed at curbing farmer suicide wins national fitness award
The 2019 Australian Fitness Awards Community Excellence award has been presented to Active Farmers - the registered not-for-profit organisation and health promotion charity – that brings together farmers and other locals in small country communities through group fitness in a fun and interactive environment.
Designed especially for farmers with limited or no local access to fitness expertise and equipment, Active Farmers provides motivational, challenging and fun training sessions to help promote great physical health and mental wellbeing, and that suit all levels of fitness and experience.
Presented at a Fitness Australia gala event in Sydney last night, the Active Farmers program received the 2019 Australian Fitness Awards Community Excellence award.
Born and bred in country NSW, Ginny Stevens founded the Active Farmers program in March 2015, and has since grown the program through partnerships.
Upon receiving the Award, Stevens stressed that farmer suicide rates are a statistic that can no longer be ignored.
She advised “the suicide rate for Australia’s farming men is about double the general male population.
“The program gets together the community to not only exercise and be inclusive but also to provide a regular community activity so that they’re catching up every week - when exercising and social interaction come together there are amazing benefits for mental health and community resilience. These are both very much needed in the farming country.”
Active Farmers stands out from any other program because it is designed and delivered to small farming communities of less than 5,000 people, and has grown significantly in the last few years.
Acknowledging the benefits of exercise and how its role in bringing people together to be active is invaluable to mental and physical health, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish stated “it’s truly life-changing work that’s being done in these farming communities.”
“Active Farmers is a perfect example of the impact that can be made when exercise and social interaction form part of a consistent routine.”
The Australian Fitness Awards, powered by Fitness Australia, are designed to recognise the remarkable contribution of fitness industry professionals and businesses, and the impact they have in their communities.
For more information on Active Farmers go to www.activefarmers.com.au
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5th February 2019 - Fitness Australia announces finalists in 2019 Australian Fitness Awards
10th October 2018 - Fitness Australia appoints new Chairperson to drive growth and unity
5th August 2018 - NRL commits to backing for drought-affected farmers
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