Bowls Australia receives $1.2 million boost from Sport Australia Better Ageing Grant Program

by Domenic Favata

Bowls Australia (BA) has welcomed a $1.2 million grant from the Sport Australia Better Ageing program to develop the ‘Roll Back The Clock’ initiative.

Roll Back the Clock aims to boost physical activity rates among Australians aged 65 and over through bowls, light exercise and education.

The funding comes at an important time when sedentary behaviour and isolation are key risk factors in our ageing population.

Health related reasons (including physical and mental health as well as disability or poor health or injury) are the main barriers for older Australians participating in sport or physical activities.

The Roll Back The Clock initiative will run 180 programs across 40 national locations, promoting the benefits of regular physical activity.

Sessions will be adapted for individuals and benefits include flexibility, muscular endurance and strength and in some instances aerobic/cardiovascular exercise.

At $5 per session, the program offers a low cost opportunity for older Australians to take part in accessible activities and provides opportunities for those socially isolated to engage with new people and education.

One of 27 successful applicants, BA will receive $1,200,000 to help more than 8,000 older Australians when inactivity, isolation and loneliness are key concerns for the increasingly ageing Australian population.

Through the implementation of the Better Ageing grants, Sport Australia aims to reduce cardiovascular and metabolic problems, control weight, combat chronic disease and help prevent falls.

In addition to the health benefits, engaging in physical activity and group sports for older Australians provides increasingly important opportunities for socialisation, peer-support, conversation and reduces the possibility for loneliness related physical and mental illnesses.

Currently only 25 per cent of Australians over 65 meet the Department of Health physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes activity per day.1

A list of successful applications for grants can be found here.