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Smooth movers win award

Arthritis and Osteoporosis Tasmania’s Smoother Movers strength training program has won the Social Value and Community Impact Award at the national AUSactive Awards.

AUSactive is the peak body for Australia’s exercise and health sector, with its annual awards highlighting the country’s premier exercise professionals, programs and businesses.

Arthritis and Osteoporosis Tasmania CEO Jackie Slyp said Smoother Movers started as a small pilot program in 2019 and now has 15 classes each week across locations including South Hobart, Lenah Valley, Glenorchy, Clarence, Lindisfarne, Midway Point and Tranmere.

“We are honoured to have achieved this award which is a testament to the hard work our small team has put into the development of the Smoother Movers strength training program,” she said.

“Arthritis and Osteoporosis Tasmania remains dedicated to its ongoing efforts to improve health and wellbeing for the one in four Tasmanians living with arthritis.

“We endeavour to help people find ways to be more physically active and exercise is an important first step.”

Incorporating balance, endurance, flexibility and strength-based exercises which can be modified according to personal fitness level, medical history and goals, the Smoother Movers strength training program helps people maintain mobility, build and retain strength and manage arthritis.

Group leader Emma Watson said the program had noticeable effects on participants’ daily lives after just a few classes.

“I’ve had participants enter the program with issues standing up from a chair and after a few sessions they can comfortably do up to 10 sit-to-stand exercises,” she said.

Participant Ros Escott said the classes were a great opportunity to stay fit in a welcoming and social environment.

“It’s great to have an accessible and affordable program in the community that can help my arthritis,” she said.

“I’ve been coming to classes for 18 months and made some great friends already. We often catch up for a cuppa feeling refreshed after a session.”

Thanks to a two-year grant from the Tasmanian Government’s Healthy Tasmania Fund, Arthritis and Osteoporosis Tasmania is now set to expand the Smoother Movers program to the state’s north and north-west, with classes likely to start in Launceston and Longford soon.

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