Popular SilverSport program helps hundreds stay active

​Bunbury’s popular SilverSport pilot program has come to an end with 741 people accessing a total of $148,200 that allowed eligible seniors to put funding of up to $200 towards fees for sport and recreation activities.

The pilot program, which was financed by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, has been administered by the City of Bunbury since April.

Due to high demand, the available funding has been exhausted and no further funding is available to extend the program.

City Coordinator Club and Group Services Gary Thompson said the trial program had been extremely successful and had played a role in ensuring seniors stayed active in the community.

“Although the program was planned to run until 31 December this year, its popularity has resulted in the funding being exhausted and no further applications can be accepted,” Mr Thompson said.

“We would like to encourage seniors to continue to stay physically active and we will be looking at ways we can help encourage this.”

The SilverSport program helps eligible seniors, who might not otherwise be able to join a sport or recreation club, to keep fit, healthy, active and socially connected using sport and recreation centres, seniors' fitness classes and clubs.

Individuals could access up to $200 to go towards fees, with popular activities including gym memberships, bowls and golf.

“This shows that SilverSport has not only kept seniors active, but it also provided a way for people to get back into structured activity,” Mr Thompson said.

“The most popular activity seniors have used the funding for has been gyms, which is reflected in the fact that 30 per cent of recipients have put it towards membership at South West Sports Centre.”

Classes ideally suited to seniors continue to be offered at the South West Sports Centre, including yoga, water walking and Fit for Life.

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is evaluating the SilverSport program to help inform future work in supporting seniors to stay active.