In a big boost for Veterans’ Health Week beginning today, the NSW Government has partnered with Veteran Sport Australia (VSA) to bolster programs for veterans to participate in community sport and recreation.
Acting Minister for Veterans Geoff Lee said staying socially connected to boost wellbeing and fitness is the focus of this year’s Veterans’ Health Week from 24 October to 1 November.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put up extra barriers to social connections and we need to keep breaking them down for our veterans,” Mr Lee said.
“Social interaction and physical activity are two factors that underpin our wellbeing so as well as partnering with VSA, we’re backing a number of events throughout the week that encourage veterans to actively care for their health."
“Any physical activity which gets veterans together to interact while getting fit and healthy is terrific for their wellbeing."
The partnership will also strengthen VSA’s drive to increase opportunities for veterans to volunteer in NSW sport and active recreation organisations.
Chairman of Veteran Sport Australia James Brown said it has been the most challenging year to engage in social and team sport.
“The trials of 2020 also reinforce how essential it is to maintain good mental and physical health,” Mr Brown said.
“Nobody has to tackle these challenges alone, so we’re encouraging veterans and their families to get active and stay connected to support their wellbeing.”
VSA has teamed up with Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling and parkrun Australia to launch the ‘Team Veteran’ (not) parkrun initiative. This is an opportunity for veterans and their families to do a ‘virtual’ parkrun at any time, any place and at any pace.
Veterans and their families who register for ‘Team Veteran’ on the parkrun Australia website can run, jog or walk 5kms during Veterans’ Health Week as part of the online (not) parkrun.
Veterans looking to stretch their skills and to boost their mind, body and spirit will be able to join veterans’ yoga classes at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park Sydney, thanks to Frontline Yoga with sessions to commence in November.
For more information on Veterans Health Week activities, visit www.dva.gov.au