Older community members are encouraged to dip their toes in the ocean and take part in Bundaberg’s maiden Silver Salties program.
Surf Woman of the Year entrant Jen Swan will launch the eight-week pilot program on Monday, 26 October, and said although Silver Salties was aimed at the over-65s, all ages were welcome to participate.
Silver Salties is a feel-good program to help older Australians keep physically active and socially connected.
It's designed by Surf Life Saving Australia in conjunction with Surf Life Saving Clubs and funded by Sport Australia’s Move It Aus – Better Ageing Grants Program.
“Silver Salties is designed for older Australians, however people of all ages can participate,” Jen said.
“Its aim is to keep the guys social and get them out and about, staying active.
“It's normally a 10-week program, but as this is the pilot we will have it run for eight weeks and finish up before Christmas.
“The start-up will be beach-easy fitness and involves low impact activities.”
Silver Salties for all ages
At 74 years of age both Phil and Annette Irvine said they enjoyed being active and were keen to take part in Silver Salties as their children were involved in life saving.
“We love exercising very much and we are the silver ones” Annette said.
“Phil used to be a life saver at Moore Park Beach many years ago, so it’s nice to be involved again.”
The retirees agreed Silver Salties was ideal for their generation, and they were keen to tell their tennis club friends to hit the beach with them.
“We're keen to take part, you’re never too old to get out and give it a go,” Phil said.
“We help out at Meals on Wheels and it’s amazing how many people, younger than us, who have trouble moving around, so I think the message is just don’t stop and keep moving.”
Jen said the free Silver Salties program was open to all members of the community.
There's no need to be a member of Surf Life Saving but it's an opportunity for people who would like to join take the first step to get involved.
“It’s really a lot of being social and connected, and eventually if they wanted to help out, if they think ‘oh yeah this is a good thing’ and want to be part of the club, the door is always open,” she said.
“We are always looking for older people who want to volunteer but don’t know how to get into it, so this could open it up for them.”
The free Silver Salties program will launch on Monday, 26 October at 7.30am at Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club.
- Earlier story: Jen inspires through Surf Woman of the Year