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Clinical Kit - 19/8/2015 Getting Activity into your Community

With Inactivity passing Smoking as the leading cause of mortality in Australia,  we can expect different levels of government to become involved in 'educating the nation' on this vital long term factor. But what about at the grass root level, our community?

As I was driving around sewing our hay paddock a couple of months ago, along with my bones this thought was bouncing around in the tractor. What would be a fun, challenging and spectator based activity that would promote the benefits and fun of sport?

I have seen Tough Mudder, Cross Fit and a few others of similar ilk. There are some great themes; teams, challenges, problem solving, participation emphasis but it needed to be simpler and more condensed as a starting point. We have a long standing Agricultural Show with everything but physical teams participation - except perhaps the mechanised rodeo horse (rider + horse = team).

So I though of creating a fun competition between 'townies' and 'farmies', rival netball or football clubs or work mates generally with a positive theme of activity.

This developed into the FarmFit Challenge 2015, and in 2015 is sponsored by the Road Safety Department promoting "Your Worth Holding Onto. Belt Up." campaign.  Four local business's - one for each "challenge' have naming rights for their challenge and we will promote each business via posts on our FB page. We are going to use our skeleton (Mr. S Kelly) as the mascot - washing cars (local car dealer), sitting in on a focus group discussing bone health (local MLA) ..... you get the idea.

The format is 20 teams competing over 4 challenges. We are allowing 60 minutes with the aim of it being a spectator attraction on the main oval. Teams will be eliminated after each challenge (don't come last) with the final challenge having 4 teams. Winner takes all in the bragging rights department. You can read a bit more here.

Involvement in Community

We asked a local TAFE graphic design teacher to see if students would like to produce a logo (see above) and advertising poster to put around town. The local 'Men in Sheds' group are creating a perpetual trophy using old farm items and several businesses are providing $$ and or equipment. One of the local football clubs is being the non profit financial vehicle and also providing officials for the events.

We listed FarmFit Challenge 2015 on our FB page and it was picked it up quickly with 1300 views occurring in the first few days of announcement.

So in addition to promoting fitness and fun, FarmFit Challenge 2015 has already brought together many different groups within the Esperance region - all contributing to building a more interlinked and healthier community.

I would love to hear your thoughts on promoting activity in your community and also if you have any suggestions on how we could improve FarmFit Challenge 2015.

Love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Doug Cary FACP
Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist (awarded by Australian College of Physiotherapy, 2009)
PhD Candidate Curtin University
Clinical Director AAP Education

email: doug@aapeducation.com.au

ph/fx: 08 90715055

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