The installation of outdoor fitness equipment and improving sustainable food environments in sports clubs are among the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative being rolled out across the Loddon Campaspe Region to help increase levels of healthy eating and physical activity.
Healthy Heart of Victoria, funded by the Victorian Government until June 2022, aims to improve the health outcomes of residents in the Loddon Campaspe Region – the heart of Victoria.
The initiative spans six Local Government Areas (LGAs) including the City of Greater Bendigo, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Loddon, Macedon Ranges and Mount Alexander Shires and the newly announced projects have been developed in conjunction with local stakeholders to help address the health needs of local communities.
The projects are important because according to the 2019 Active Living Census, two in every three Loddon Campaspe residents are overweight or obese, and 53.4% of residents want to do more physical activity.
New healthy eating focused projects include:
- Projects to improve local food environments, including a pilot project to create healthy and sustainable food and drink environments in sports clubs in Greater Bendigo, Campaspe and Macedon Ranges Shires.
- Healthy cooking programs, including the roll out of The Good Foundation’s Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food online cooking course across all LGA’s in the region.
- Kitchen garden programs in education and community settings in Campaspe, Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges Shires.
- Projects to promote water consumption, including the installation of drinking water fountains in Central Goldfields, Loddon, Macedon Ranges and Campaspe Shires.
- Café for a Day partnership with Bendigo Foodshare, connecting young people from Kangaroo Flat with local chefs. Participants will learn about healthy eating and retail and social skills through the preparation and operation of a pop-up café in Lansell Square Shopping Centre.
New physical activity focused projects:
- Upgrades to and installation of outdoor fitness equipment to provide further free outdoor physical activity options in Mount Alexander, Central Goldfields and Loddon Shires.
- Installation of important supporting infrastructure such as bike racks, seating and signage at outdoor spaces across all LGA’s in the region to improve accessibility and increase use.
- Activation programs across all LGA’s in the region for all levels and abilities to provide locals with long-term skills to increase their physical activity levels.
- Activation of the Castlemaine Skate Park precinct via bike and skate sessions to encourage physical activity and social interaction for young people.
Healthy Heart of Victoria Coordinator, Alicia O’Brien said the new projects will expand upon the strong results Healthy Heart of Victoria has already delivered within the region over the past three years.
O’Brien notes “Healthy Heart of Victoria aims to improve health in the region by providing opportunities and creating spaces for residents to be more active and to eat well.
“The initiative has already delivered a significant number of local activation projects including healthy eating programs, installation and activation of lighting, signage, path connections, outdoor fitness equipment, and school kitchen garden programs since its inception.
“We’re looking forward to building on these programs to continue to promote health and wellbeing in the community.
“The Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership, member Councils and their partners across the region will continue to advocate to the Victorian Government to extend the program in the future.”
The wide range of Healthy Heart of Victoria activation projects will commence across the region from early 2022. Further updates and information will be provided as projects are underway.
Image courtesy Healthy Heart of Victoria
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