Reclink Australia are delighted to announce a partnership with VicHealth in a multi-year program that will be focussed on empowering young people aged 16-25 to get active in their community.
Through this program, both organisations will work with a wide range of partners to provide new opportunities for young people, designed by them, for them; whilst also transforming spaces in communities that are not currently being used to their full potential.
Initially, sites in 8 councils across Victoria will be launched in 2022, with a further 8 to come in 2023. The council areas are in regional and rural Victoria as outer areas of metropolitan Melbourne.
“We know how good getting active feels, but not everyone feels welcome or comfortable to take that step,” said Sarah Loh, Executive Manager of Future Healthy Group, VicHealth.
“Young people have told us they want more places and spaces in their local areas to move freely and connect with others.
“We know that the past 2 years have been tough, and together with Reclink Australia we see an opportunity to reimagine what getting active looks like in neighbourhoods around the state.”
Recent research suggests that 3 in 5 young people said having access to parks, playgrounds, and public sports facilities, like skate parks or bike paths, near home had some or a strong impact on them enjoying good health.
It was also noted that 7 in 10 young people aged 18-25 having nowhere near home to participate in the sports or activities they enjoy has had an impact on their physical activity.
The Reclink Australia and VicHealth partnership will remove the barriers to physical activity by providing greater access to new and suitable spaces, as well as an increase in no cost and low-cost activities.
Reclink Australia and VicHealth will also support more young people to do the activities they enjoy, in spaces they feel comfortable in.
The program will provide so much more than different options to move, with localised training and employment opportunities also made available to local young people.
Reclink Australia CEO Dave Wells welcomed the announcement, and also acknowledged the work of some of the organisation’s external partners - such as Latitude Network - in the role that they have played over a long period of association.
“We are excited to be working with young people across Victoria to ensure them and their peers are healthy and active and have every chance to experience the joy of sport regardless of their supposed ability, fitness or skill level,” he said.
“We also have some critical partners that we are excited to be working with, importantly, because we are looking to ‘move the dial’ we partnered in this project from day one with Latitude Network to help us to measure and show the impact of the work we are undertaking.
“'Reclink is particularly focused on supporting those young people with barriers to getting active - making sure that all young people are represented is a core value of ours.
“Whether it is through disability, language skills or mental health or other things that get in the way, Reclink will get them involved.”
In 2022, Reclink Australia and VicHealth will work in the following Local Government Areas:
- Ararat Rural City
- City of Wodonga
- City of Wyndham
- City of Frankston
- City of Greater Dandenong
- Swan Hill Rural City
- Yarra Ranges Shire
- Yarriambiack Shire
In 2023, the program will continue in the above Local Government Areas, and expand into:
- City of Casey
- City of Greater Geelong
- City of Greater Shepparton
- City of Hume
- City of Melton
- City of Whittlesea
- East Gippsland Shire
- Mitchell Shire
For more information on VicHealth and to sign up to receive their latest updates via email, visit https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/.