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    Horsham Rural City Council councillor Robyn Gulline.

‘Beacon of active living’

By Abby Walter

Horsham Rural City Council is moving towards encouraging more participation in sport and physical activity in the community.

Councillors have noted a requirement to develop a Horsham Municipal Active Recreation and Sport Strategy and endorsed a funding commitment to a Sport and Recreation Victoria Local Sport and Infrastructure Fund application of $43,648.

The funding will be referred to the council’s 2024-25 budget.

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Mayor Robyn Gulline said the strategy was not about infrastructure, but about encouraging active participation.

“Active participation does not necessarily mean organised sport, it might just be people out walking, cycling or using the equipment at exercise circuits,” she said.

“We want people to use equipment and facilities as effectively and efficiently as they can.

“We want to know how we encourage people to be more active because we all know for the benefit of our health, we need to be more active.”

Cr Gulline said it was a 50-50 grant, meaning the State Government funding would comprise 50 percent of the spend.

“There will be community consultation involved. I can’t tell people what would make them be incentivised to get out and move –we need to talk to people to know what they need to be participating more actively in our community,” she said.

“Having this strategy will help us going forward with funding applications we put in for other facility development, so it’s a key component.”

Cr David Bowe said the Horsham community was blessed with natural opportunities and a community spirit that thrived on active participation.

“However, the data reveals a concerning trend that 35.5 percent of our adults are either inactive or insufficiently active and 81 percent of our children and young people do not engage in the recommended one hour of physical activity per day,” he said.

“This strategy aims to reverse these trends and foster a more active and healthy community.

“The essence of this is not just about building infrastructure, it’s about enhancing program opportunities and leveraging partnerships to better activate our spaces.”

Cr Bowe said previous sporting strategies would form a strong foundation to focus on the participatory aspects of sport and recreation.

He said the funding was not just a monetary contribution, but a commitment to plan positive community outcomes.

“This commitment is crucial in our application success and demonstrates to Sport and Recreation Victoria our serious intent to make Horsham a beacon of active living,” Cr Bowe said.

“We want a community where everybody, regardless of age, ability or background, feels welcome and encouraged to be active.”

The entire February 7, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!