BCH launches ‘Active OUR Way’

Bellarine Community Health has launched an exciting new program with three Bellarine school communities called ‘Active OUR Way!’.

BCH is working closely with St Leonards, Leopold and Portarlington Primary Schools on this collaborative project which aims to get more children, young people and families on the Bellarine Peninsula moving more often, in ways that suit them!

‘Active OUR Way (AOW)’ will work closely with the students, families and staff from each school, to help design and shape active living activities for each community. The program puts control into the hands of students by asking them to design their own fun, active living activities and programs.

“It isn’t often that we ask kids how they would like to be active – let alone invite them to become ‘design masters’ and to be part of the process,” says BCH Healthy Communities Planner Chloe McKenzie. “This program involves working together with the students and teachers to get them to come up with their own ways to be active.”

Leopold Primary School Principal Stuart Bott says the program recognises that schools are at the heart of communities.

“Leopold Primary School is passionate about strengthening relationships with the community and in supporting children and families to be active and improve the wellbeing for the community,” he says.

St Leonards Primary Principal Jenny Cowburn is also an advocate for the program.

“Our community is growing rapidly. We are so fortunate to be able to support the growth and education of active students who are connected to community and place. We appreciate the involvement of the Active Our Way program to give our students a voice and leadership opportunities in promoting being active in ways which are safe, accessible and affordable.”

More than 120 students from the three schools have already participated in design workshops and shared their ideas on activities they would like to try or do more often. Students designed their own AOW activities and thought of ways to make their activities fun and welcoming for all.

Top activities nominated by the students included bike riding, water-based activities, roller blading and scooting and sporting activities like football and netball. But they also came up with other ideas like circus, laser tag, paint ball, dancing, and skating.

BCH is now working with the three schools to explore how some of these options can be actioned for the local school communities and is recruiting ‘Active OUR Way’ champions for the remainder of the program.

The program aims to develop activities that will be fun, engaging, and accessible for families that are free or low-cost activities, close to school or home.

The program has been supported with funding from the Department of Health and VicHealth Future Health funding.

To find out more about ‘Active OUR Way’ visit https://bch.org.au/live-well/be-active/

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