The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has allocated a $1.44m grant towards the promotion of evidence-based physical activity for older adults and people with disabilities by health professionals.
Led by Professor Cathie Sherrington from the University of Sydney, partner organisations involved in the grant include Belgravia Leisure, Disability Sport Australia, Australian Physiotherapy Association, and the Clinical Excellence Commission. All organisations will work in partnership to incorporate physical activity referral and support in daily practice in community leisure and sport settings.
Professor Sherrington said of the partnership, “I am delighted to be working with this impressive group of partners on this exciting project. We look forward to working together to bridge the gap between health services and ongoing community exercise.”
A co-designed, multi-faceted implementation strategy has been created to facilitate delivery of the project. The strategy specifically targets identified barriers to physical activity and includes:
- An online hub
- Local protocols and referral pathways
- Local clinical champions
- Mentors with expertise in different health conditions
- New “transition” programs for patients
- And a community of practice to share learnings between sites
Belgravia Leisure CEO Nick Cox confirms the organisation’s commitment to the NHMRC project. “We are pleased to contribute to such an important initiative. Staying active is important for everyone, but it is especially important for older adults and people with disabilities. Being physically active can keep people of all ages and abilities healthy and connected, and we look forward to working with the University of Sydney and the NHMRC to help every Australian achieve these goals.”