ONE of the most successful projects seen in the district in recent years, the Active Places Project, part of the Go For Your Life Program, has wound up with a final gesture of generosity to the community.
Project officer Jacinta Lamb from South Gippsland Hospital, the lead agency for the project, has arranged for the purchase of several thousand dollars worth of sports equipment for local community groups and sports associations.
Toora Primary School is one of the lucky recipients of this windfall. The school is the proud new owner of netball and basketball nets, a badminton set and a table tennis set – including a very snazzy purple table.
“We’re really happy to get all this equipment. We got everything we asked for and the kids love it,” said Ashton Webster, the sports co-ordinator at Toora Primary School.
Equipment also went to Welshpool and District Primary School, Welshpool Netballers, Welshpool Golf Club, Toora Football Club, Toora Tai Chi, and mats and blankets to Port Franklin Yoga Group. In addition, yoga sessions for beginners will start soon in Toora, thanks to funding from the Active Places Project.
Over two years, managed first by Lauren Staley and now by Jacinta Lamb, the project has seen thousands of dollars ploughed into the South Gippsland Shire communities east of Foster to encourage a healthier lifestyle among the population. Go For Your Life recognises that by improving physical activity habits, the development of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease can be prevented, with significant personal, social and economic benefits.
The project has assisted in strengthening existing activities available through local clubs and organisations and also helped start up new activities within the communities.
“The project has been very successful,” said Jacinta. “Lots of sporting clubs have been able to take up training opportunities thanks to the project, and smaller groups have started up with the encouragement of the project.”