The Heart Foundation is looking for creative community fitness projects in local communities.
The Heart Foundation is looking for creative community fitness projects in local communities.

Show some heart, and get the Northern Rivers moving again

THE Heart Foundation is planning to get local residents moving and off the couch with their Active Australia Innovation Challenge in 2020.

The challenge for local residents and community groups, including the Northern Rivers, is to rally together and design community projects to get people active.

Heart Foundation Director of Active Living, Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton said this year physical activity was more important than ever.

"There has been renewed interest through COVID-19 in the importance of being active, and these grants offer an opportunity to continue this momentum in innovative ways," he said.

"That's why we run the Active Australia Innovation Challenge. It's an avenue for tertiary institutions, schools, councils, community groups and other organisations to tell us their great ideas for encouraging communities to get more active and live a healthier lifestyle."

The program which will award grants valued at $10,000 to projects which help get people active and prevent heart disease.

In 2018, 48 Australians died every day from heart disease, or about one every half-hour. Heart disease accounted for more than one in 10 deaths that year.

Prof Shilton said the projects should be creative in their approach to exercise and group activity.

"For a lot of Aussies, there's a perception that 'physical activity' means joining a gym, jogging around their neighbourhood or playing organised sport," he said.

"These are all legitimate forms of physical activity, but there are so many other fun and innovative ways for people of all fitness levels to be active in their communities."

Recently, Leoni Walker demonstrated the success of starting a walking group in Banora Point by being awarded a Golden Shoe award by the Heart Foundation.


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