$22.9 million to get older Australians more active

Twenty-seven organisations will share in an investment of almost $23 million by the Federal Government aimed at motivating millions of older Australians to move more often.

As part of its commitment to sport and physical activity, the government is investing the funding in the Move It Aus Better Ageing Grants over the next two years, with a focus on helping aged 65 and older to become more physically active and socially connected.

Minister for Sport Senator Bridget McKenzie said the Move It Aus Better Ageing program was an important step in helping older Australians to make the most of their senior years.

Senator McKenzie and Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt announced the first grant recipients at Perth’s Inglewood United Soccer Club this week. The club will benefit from Football Federation Australia’s Better Ageing Grant to develop a social, small-sided and sustainable version of soccer specifically modified for older Australians.

“As outlined in the government’s National Sport Plan – Sport 2030 – no matter what your age and no matter what your stage, we’re encouraging all Australians to embrace the philosophy of 'movement for life',” Senator McKenzie said.

“The strong demand for Better Ageing grants shows us that organisations are ready and willing to help older Aussies adopt a healthier lifestyle.

“Physical activity for over 65s is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The successful organisations will provide a wide range of opportunities, from simple exercise classes in our remote communities through to modified programs in traditional sports such as golf and netball.”

Mr Wyatt said the new programs would benefit hundreds of thousands of senior Australians in coming years.

“Studies show sport is fun, with serious benefits, including better heart health and weight control, while it reduces the progression of chronic diseases and the risk of falls,” Mr Wyatt said.

“Sport’s social connections mean it strengthens not only our bodies but our minds, and helps guard against loneliness in our later years.”

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

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