Since 2016 Gymnastics Australia (GA) and the Oceania Gymnastics Union (OGU) have been involved in the Australian Government’s Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP). GA and OGU have partnered with the Gymnastics Federation of Fiji, Gymnastics Federation of Samoa, Papua New Guinea Gymnastics Federation and also Badminton Oceania and Badminton Papua New Guinea.
The objectives of the Gymnastics Federation of Fiji’s PSP AeroGym program are to improve health related behaviours through participation in regular exercise, and build leadership capacity of women. Disability inclusion is a major focus of the program which takes Aerobic Gymnastics to villages throughout Fiji, making exercise accessible, affordable and enjoyable. Between April 2016 and December 2018:
- 11842 People participated in AeroGym Fiji activities.
- 6505 of these were girls or women.
- 1133 self-identified as having a disability (note that AeroGym is an inclusive activity suitable to participants of all abilities. It is likely that many more participants had disabilities, but these did not impact on their ability to participate and they therefore did not identify as having disabilities.)
Papua New Guinea Gymnastics Federation, in collaboration with Badminton Papua New Guinea conducts regular inclusive activities providing opportunities for people of all abilities to participate in fundamental movement programs in a safe and fun environment. The inclusive nature of activities aim to improve health related behaviours and attitudes towards People with Disabilities.
The aim of the 2018 Samoa Gymnastics Federation Building Leadership Capacity of Women in Sport was to remove barriers to women participating in sport and taking on leadership opportunities whilst at the same time offering a new, fun and exciting activity to encourage women to want to get active, improve their fitness and prevent non-communicable disease risk factors. The project involved workshops to empower women with leadership skills and understanding, and tie in to the practical activity and event side of AeroGym. Whilst the funding period for the project has ended, the legacy lives on, with Samoa National University student teachers being trained to conduct Aerobic Gymnastics training in schools. A showcase event will be held later in 2019.
To learn more about the Australian Government’s Sport for Development activities in the Pacific follow this link:
PSP is managed by GHD