Children who suffer from motor neuron impairment and are wheelchair bound will be given the chance to play laser tag with able-bodied people as part of a winning project in the Heart Foundation’s 2021 Active Australia Innovation Challenge.
The challenge invited tertiary institutions, schools, councils and other organisations to submit innovative ideas for getting people in their communities moving. The winners will each receive a grant of $10,000 to make their project a reality.
Lightstrike Mobile Laser Tag is an Adelaide-based business delivering immersive laser tag scenarios to a range of groups including social groups and school children. They have won a grant to help create a specially designed and manufactured system for motorised wheelchairs.
Local children who are wheelchair bound but can operate self-control motorised wheelchairs have been asked to help design, test and implement the system. This innovative project is a fun and unique way to exercise.
The grant will go towards purchasing electronic components for the system to create as many wheelchair units for laser tag as possible.
The Heart Foundation received 619 entries in this year’s Active Australia Innovation Challenge. This is double the number of 2020 entries and almost five times the number submitted for the first challenge in 2018.
“The initiative has been growing in popularity year-on-year, but even we were surprised by the huge number of entries received for this year’s challenge,” said the Heart Foundation’s SA CEO, Imelda Lynch.
“The Heart Foundation could not be more pleased by this increased participation, given more than two thirds of people in South Australia are not active enough for good heart health. This is a real concern, because being inactive is a risk factor for heart disease.
“One reason for the spike in entries could be that the pandemic has sparked interest in physical activity at a grass-roots level. Being stuck at home for long periods is making everyone appreciate their communities more and think creatively about ways to stay healthy and active.
“Over the four years we’ve been running this challenge, the Heart Foundation has awarded grants to 45 organisations nationally. A big congratulations to all this year’s winners, including Lightstrike Mobile Laser Tag. We look forward to working with you to bring the ‘inclusive laser tag’ project to life.”
The Active Australia Innovation Challenge is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.