Weight of opinion leads to program


Ashlea and Scarlett Moss, Xavier Battista, Rachel and Jace Gunn, Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies, Kelly and Caleb Battista, Charlotte and Trisha Ellis.
Ashlea and Scarlett Moss, Xavier Battista, Rachel and Jace Gunn, Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies, Kelly and Caleb Battista, Charlotte and Trisha Ellis.

Toodyay, Northam and York appear on the State Government’s hit list for ActiveSmart, a $900,000 project launched in Northam last Friday. Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said the project would provide personalised phone coaching to about 13,200 households and up to 5000 participants.

“Statistics tell us this region now has the highest rate of overweight and obese people in the State, and is ranked 16th out of 92 regions in Australia for obesity and physical inactivity,” the minister said.

The project toolkit contains information about ways to boost physical activity by at least 15 minutes a day.

Through personalised motivational support, the hope is to increase regional participation in sporting groups.

More than 75 per cent of people in the Wheatbelt are overweight compared with a combined state average of 66 per cent, according to the Department of Health’s health and wellbeing surveillance system (2013).

Ms Davies said Active|Smart was about achieving long-term changes in physical activity levels.

She said people were more likely to continue fitness routines when the project ended because they would be better informed about physical activities available close to home.

“Sports clubs and recreation centres are the heart of so many regional towns and we want ActiveSmart to help even more people connect with them and reap the many benefits of being more active,” Ms Davies said, adding the program was economically sound.