City Strikers to kick goals for seniors' health

Melbourne City FC's City Strikers program - a football program modified to get older people active - has been announced as the first of several to win funding under VicHealth’s Innovation Challenge: Physical Activity in 2015.

City in the Community, a not-for-profit arm of Melbourne City FC, received $100,000 as part of the VicHealth Innovation Challenge to implement City Strikers - a walking football program. City Strikers is launching at Federation Square today as part of Victorian Seniors Festival with a walking football game conducted on an inflatable pitch.

The footy program focuses on passing skills rather than running speed. It’s flexible and adapts to needs and locations of participants, primarily older people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds –addressing multiple common barriers to participation.

City Strikers is inexpensive to run, easily accessible, can be played on any safe surface and can be attended by both groups and individuals. Young leaders from CALD backgrounds will be trained to run the sessions for community members in a fun, active and social environment.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter says VicHealth is proud to support such a fantastic concept as part of the 2015 Innovation Challenge: Physical Activity.

‘These communities love football, but they’re often disengaged from younger community members and struggle with language barriers. Across Australia, people are leading less active lives, with less than a third of Australians getting enough physical activity. Getting communities more active is in the best interests of all Victorians.’

‘This program, and others to be announced by VicHealth soon, are making it easier for every Victorian to become more physically and socially active’.

VicHealth’s Innovation Challenge: Physical Activity calls for clever ideas to take community sport in a new direction and make it easier for Victorians to get active. More information on the Physical Activity Challenge can be found on the website https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/search/innovation-challenge-physical-activity

The City Strikers announcement also coincides with the release of a new membership offer for 'Senior Cityzens'. Call 1300 255 432 or visit membership.melbournecityfc.com.au to sign up now!