65 new locations NATIONALLY are to be added through the parkrun ‘Generations Project’ with a direct focus on connecting older Australians with their local communities.

parkrun Australia is set to announce that it will be adding 65 new locations to its national network of weekly events thanks to new funding from the Sport Australia Move It AUS Better Ageing government grant.

The parkrun ‘Generations Project’ will not only increase the number of weekly events around Australia, but its primary purpose is to build the member base of 65+ Australians by 5,000 over the next two years. The program will help the elderly connect with each other, but also local members of the community. New members will be encouraged to run, walk, volunteer or simply be a spectator. The ‘Generations Project’ funding will primarily be used to create new weekly parkrun events in areas that have a high elderly population but also provide more older Australians with the chance to take part in free and fun physical and social activity to help improve their overall health.

One of 27 successful applicants, parkrun Australia will receive $1,838,000 to help older Australians at a time when inactivity, isolation and loneliness are key concerns for the increasingly ageing Australian population. Through the implementation of the Better Ageing grants, Sport Australia aims to reduce cardiovascular and metabolic problems, control weight, combat chronic disease and help prevent falls.

In addition to the health benefits, engaging in physical activity and group sports for older Australians provides increasingly important opportunities for socialisation, peer-support, conversation and reduces the possibility for loneliness related physical and mental illnesses.

Currently only 25 per cent of Australians over 65 meet the Department of Health physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes activity per day.1

About Sport Australia

Sport Australia is the Australian Government’s lead sport agency. Our vision is for Australia to be the world’s most active sporting nation, known for its integrity, sporting success and world leading sports industry. Our mission is to enable more Australians to move more often, to build the capability of sport through a robust, connected industry and to engender national pride and inspiration through achieving international sporting success.

About Better Ageing Grant Program

The Better Ageing Grant Program aims to increase levels of physical activity of Australians aged 65+, particularly those least active, to improve their overall health and wellbeing. The program aims to prevent and reduce the impact of chronic disease and increase overall physical and mental health of older Australians. The objective is to improve older Australians overall health and wellbeing, particularly those less active by:

  • enhancing the understanding and benefits of regular physical activity;
  • improving access to sport and physical activity opportunities;
  • enabling regular engagement in sport and physical activity; and
  • enhancing the capability and capacity of organisations and staff to deliver age-appropriate activities.

About parkrun Australia

parkruns are free, timed, 5km events that take place at more than 1800 locations around the world every weekend – they are socially-focussed events with an emphasis on fun and fitness that are coordinated entirely by local volunteers.

parkrun is open to everyone aged four and over and attracts people of all abilities. It is not a race, with the emphasis on participation rather than performance. Friendship, community cohesion, mutual support, access to open space and the open air, skill development and personal and professional empowerment are just some of the reasons why participation in parkrun can lead to improved mental and physical health and happiness.

For details of your local parkrun visit http://www.parkrun.com.au/aldingabeach/