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YWCA Canberra wins Heart Foundation grant
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YWCA Canberra wins Heart Foundation grant

Media Release – 3 August 2021

An exercise group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their young children in Canberra's south has been named as a winning project in the Heart Foundation's 2021 Active Australia Innovation Challenge.

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 receive a grant of $10,000 to make their project a reality.

YWCA Canberra has won a grant to start a “Mums and Bubs” exercise group in South Tuggeranong for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their pre-school-aged children. According to the YWCA, there are currently no facilitated, culturally-specific physical activities for this age group in the area.

The group will meet for two hours a week, providing a regular, reliable and safe space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children to take part in play-based activities. Participants will be encouraged to find ways to engage in physical activity beyond the group. The project also aims to improve attitudes and access to physical health generally.

The grant will go towards the development of a culturally-appropriate activity program, as well as buying equipment such as mats, balls, a shade sail and Indigenous items like clapping sticks.

The Heart Foundation received 619 entries in this year’s Active Australia Innovation 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’s NSW & ACT Heart Health Manager, Anna Flynn.

“The Heart Foundation could not be more pleased by this increased participation, given around six in 10 people in the ACT are not active enough for good heart health. This is a real concern, because being inactive is a risk factor for heart disease.

“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 nationally. A big congratulations to all this year’s winners, including YWCA Canberra. We look forward to working with you to bring the ‘Mums and Bubs’ project to life.”

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

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