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Pumping partnership for Indigenous health

Twenty-five people from all over NSW have registered for a unique training course that will get Indigenous hearts pumping. Hunter New England Health, NSW Sport and Recreation and the Heart Foundation have joined forces to deliver a dynamic Fitness Leaders and Heart Moves course for Aboriginal Health Workers and community members in Armidale from 14 to 25 July.

Participants, who have demonstrated their interest in leading health and exercise programs, will take part in a total of 12 days of intensive training. They will learn the skills and knowledge they need to take on an important health leadership role in their communities.

“The fitness leadership course provides training for Indigenous people so that they can deliver exercise programs for their communities,” said Tina Pidcock from Hunter New England Area Health Service.

“Exercise is a terrific way to help improve the fitness and cardiovascular health of people in Aboriginal communities.”

NSW Sport and Recreation’s Donna Coady said this is the first time the organisation has run the Aboriginal intensive 9-day Certificate III in Fitness course.

“This teaches exercise program design and will enable participants to move into group or personal training, preparing them to work in any capacity on the gymnasium floor,” she said.

“It also provides health workers with the skills to design and deliver exercise programs for their patients.”

Participants will also undertake Heart Moves training and accreditation. This three day training program provides additional skills and expertise to deliver safe exercise programs to people who have chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity.

“The training course brings together the expertise of Hunter New England Health, NSW Sport and Recreation and the Heart Foundation, to focus on an area of real need in Aboriginal communities,” said Dr Amanda Nagle from the Heart Foundation.

“Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Regular physical activity is proven to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is why this program is so important.”

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