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West Australian winners announced in 2021 Active Australia Innovation Challenge
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West Australian winners announced in 2021 Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Media Release – 13 August 2021

The Heart Foundation has today announced the winners of its 2021 Active Australia Innovation Challenge, with four coming from Western Australia.

The challenge invited tertiary institutions, schools, councils and other organisations to submit innovative ideas for getting people in their communities moving. The winners will each get a grant of $10,000 to make their project a reality. Of the 19 winners across Australia this year, the four from Western Australia are:

Organisation: Yogazeit Ltd.
Project name: Project Mindful Hearts - Regional Tour
Research shows that young people in the Kimberley region aren’t doing enough physical activity and often face many barriers. This grant will be used to empower young Australians in the Kimberley region to include mindfulness and yoga into their daily lives. Project Mindful Hearts will provide a health and wellbeing program to remote Kimberley school communities and support teachers to use brain breaks and mindful movement to encourage physical health, mental wellness and mindful education – one breath at a time.

Organisation: The Concrete Club
Project name: Wheel Mates
This grant will be used to provide a safe community for young people in the Margaret River areas to learn how to roller skate. Roller skating is a low-impact sport with a huge impact on overall fitness. Wheel Mates will look to offer free, community skate events as a way of getting fit. Focusing on people aged between 12 and 17 years of age, the program will be promoted to young women and young people who identify as LGBTQI, non-binary or trans. It is recognised that this community of young people often miss out on safe environments to explore physical activity and community friendships, especially in regional and remote areas. 

Organisation: Curtin University
Project name: Kicking Goals for Men’s Health with Aussie-FIT
In collaboration with the Swan Districts Football Club, Curtin University will use this grant to implement the Aussie Football Fans in Training (Aussie-FIT) program in the Bassendean and Midland area. This area has high obesity levels and a high incidence of lifestyle diseases linked with low levels of exercise, such as diabetes and heart disease. The project will engage men aged 35 to 65 years living with obesity in a unique physical activity and healthy living program specifically designed to appeal to guys with an interest in football.

Organisation: Western Australian Police and Community Youth Centres Inc
Project name: Broome PCYC Roller Skating
This project, based in Broome, in the Kimberley region, will see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people encouraged to get active through weekly roller-skating sessions. Broome PCYC’s patronage is almost completely Indigenous disengaged young people between the ages of 10 to 18 years, who face barriers such as cost when it comes to participating in physical activity. Broome PCYC will use this grant to introduce roller skating to a new group of participants, as well as re-engage those adults in the community who have fond memories of roller skating. 

The Heart Foundation received 619 entries in this year’s challenge. This is double the number of 2020 entries and almost five times the number submitted for the first challenge in 2018.

“The initiative has been growing in popularity year-on-year, but even we were surprised by the huge number of entries received for this year’s challenge,” said the Heart Foundation WA CEO, Sarah Fordham.

“The Heart Foundation could not be more pleased by the increased participation, given around two-thirds of people in West Australia are not active enough for good heart health. This is a real concern, because being inactive is a risk factor for heart disease, our state’s single leading cause of death.

“One reason for the spike in entries could be that the pandemic has sparked interest in physical activity at a grass-roots level. Being stuck at home for long periods is making everyone appreciate their communities more and think creatively about ways to stay healthy and active.

“Over the four years we’ve been running this challenge, the Heart Foundation has awarded grants to 45 organisations, including six in WA. A big congratulations to all this year’s winners. We look forward to working closely with you to bring your projects to life.”

The Active Australia Innovation Challenge is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

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