Greater Shepparton City Council’s popular Activities in the Park program is looking for local businesses, sports club and community groups to facilitate activities from September 2020 to April 2021.
Council’s Active Living team developed the Activities in the Park program in an attempt to:
- Increase the profile of local parks and reserves within Greater Shepparton and promote ongoing visitation
- Increase the number of free and low-cost activities held outdoors, including in local parks and reserves, that promote health and wellbeing and provide an opportunity for residents and visitors to be physically active
- To provide an opportunity for community participation and facilitate social connection through activity
Since its inception, the program has gone from strength to strength, and now welcomes thousands of Greater Shepparton residents and visitors to its many activities across the eight-month program.
For the program to operate at its full capacity, Council needs facilitators who are passionate about keeping Greater Shepparton residents physically active and engaged in healthy lifestyle behaviours.
Council is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is following the directions of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Extra precautions will be taken to ensure community safety.
David Starling, who currently facilitates ANZ Tennis Hot Shots in Tatura, has been part of the program since its inception.
“I remember hearing about the program right at the beginning and thinking this really fits the bill of the club I am at, and it sounded like a really positive program,” he said.
“We love seeing what the kids get out of it; it gives them the opportunities to be involved in something different, whether they have played tennis before or not. And to not have any cost associated at all is great, they can just come along and have lots of fun.”
Lisa Niglia from the Tatura Absolute Training Studio, runs deep water running and water aerobics classes at the Tatura pool.
“I saw the Activities in the Park program as a great opportunity to use my skills in aqua aerobics and offer it to the community,” she said.
“I love seeing and teaching the people who come along to the program, especially the seniors, it is so important to keep them active. The organisers from Council are great, really approachable and make the process easy.”
Kim Merkel from Start Outdoors facilitates orienteering and Playground Escapade.
“I first got involved when I started a new business, it was a great way to market and promote the business and also be involved with and interact with the community,” she said.
“I love that it is a free program, we get out into the small towns and can pass on some skills to the community.”
Rob Steer facilitates Munzee in the Park, a scavenger hunt game where players track down QR codes hidden in places throughout Greater Shepparton and capture them for points.
“We got involved initially to promote the activity, and expand the group we had playing Munzee in the region so that more people could join in the fun,” Rob said.
“It was really easy for us to apply and we were happy Council took the activity on. We love meeting new people through the activity and seeing people, especially the kids, being active while playing Munzee.”
Council Director Community, Kaye Thomson, said Council is aiming to run the program from September 2020 to April 2021, but facilitators and activities must abide by the restrictions set by DHHS in relation to public gatherings and sport and recreation.
“We anticipate the program may be impacted by physical distancing and the use of shared equipment, so we ask that potential facilitators provide a plan of how they will manage these restrictions,” Ms Thomson said.
“Council is investigating an online booking system for all our activities, to ensure we don’t exceed the number of people permitted in a public space. We will continue to monitor the advice from DHHS and be in contact with our facilitators with any changes to the restrictions as they arise.”