Two new pilot programs for seniors

Published: 7 September 2017

Cardinia Shire Council is piloting two new programs to engage seniors in more active, social activities. ‘Blokes in the kitchen’ and ‘Walking basketball for Seniors’ will both kick off in September.

In the lead up to the Victorian Seniors Festival 2017 in October, the programs aim to provide a starting point for seniors to get active with other members of their community. Council hopes that the programs will inspire sufficient participation to engender ongoing workshops and groups across the shire.

'Blokes in the Kitchen' is a workshop for men only that provides an opportunity for participants to learn new cooking skills. Both Port Ward councillors attended the initial workshop at Lang Lang Community Centre and agreed it was a great initiative.

Cr Graeme Moore said: “This program has the capacity to provide much more than cooking skills. It can promote social inclusion and participation for otherwise potentially isolated men. Getting together around food, preparing meals and then sharing them, is one of life’s basic activities and one that we know brings people together in a positive and enjoyable manner.”

Cr Ray Brown agreed and said: “‘Blokes in the Kitchen’ is an inspired idea. So many men miss the opportunity to develop their cooking skills, for one reason or another, so to be able to pick up a few pointers in a fun and supportive workshop is fantastic. This is a pilot program, but we hope to get enough interest to be able to offer it more widely across the shire.”

Council will also join with Basketball Victoria and Aligned Leisure and Lifestyle Communities to trial a new program, the 'Walking Basketball for Seniors' group, to encourage seniors to get active.

The pilot group will run for a four-week trial each Thursday, starting from Thursday 14 September and Council hopes to have sufficient interest to implement an ongoing competition and boost community participation and interest in sport for seniors.

Cardinia Mayor Cr Brett Owen said he was looking forward to attending one of the sessions and shooting some baskets with the group.

“Physical activity in any form is vital for ongoing health and wellbeing and finding ways to engage physically with others is often difficult for older people in our community. This group provides an opportunity for people to start small and build up their strength and fitness in a safe and supportive environment.

“I encourage anyone who feels they don’t have enough options to get active, to join in on this excellent initiative and ‘shoot some baskets’ soon!” Cr Brett Owen said.

Both pilots are an initiative of Council’s Ageing Well Facilitator, supporting seniors to become more active and join other members of their community in fun and engaging ways to promote health and wellbeing.