Giving seniors a sporting chance
BELMONT residents older than 60 will be among the first in WA to take part in a new program that will provide up to $200 to help them keep physically and mentally active.
SilverSport will start from July 1 and was launched by Premier Colin Barnett, Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies and Belmont Mayor Phil Marks at Oasis Leisure Centre last Thursday.
It will target adults aged 60 and above who hold a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card to help them join sporting clubs or attend seniors physical activity classes.
“Keeping active as we age has all sorts of physical and mental health benefits, including reducing the risk of developing diseases, easing chronic pain, and reducing the risk of developing depression and anxiety,” Mr Barnett said.
“Prevention is often the best cure and SilverSport is one way the government can reach out to older West Australians and help those who might not otherwise be able to afford to join sporting or recreation clubs.”
Ms Davies said the fees of up to $200 per person would go directly to recognised SilverSport clubs, recreation centres, programs and businesses through their local government.
“This will go some way to ease the financial burden on seniors who want to stay fit and healthy,” she said.
Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey said it would connect more seniors to local clubs, gyms and recreation centres.
“Our local recreation centres can be underutilised during the middle of the day and we want to encourage seniors to access programs, further activate these centres and engage in activity in their local community,” she said.
Belmont Mayor Phil Marks said it would complement the City’s CountUSin health and lifestyle awareness program.
“We try to get seniors involved in sport and physical activity, which also helps their mental activity,” he said.
He said CountUSin had helped seniors make major lifestyle changes and improve their physical health.
The pilot program will also be held in Kwinana, Northam and Kalgoorlie/Coolgardie.
Details for applicants and clubs, recreation centres, programs and businesses wanting to register as SilverSport participants or organisations are available at www.dsr.wa. gov.au/silversport.
Belmont Mayor Phil Marks, Premier Colin Barnett, Kay Bousfield, Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies and Max Bousfield at the launch of the SilverSport program.