- Charles Sturt Community-University Partnership grant to Bathurst not-for-profit ALLong to build new online services due to COVID-19 pandemic to support older adults to maintain active lifestyles
ALLong has been operating at Charles Sturt University’s gym in Bathurst since June 2018, serving the local community.
In March this year ALLong was successful in being awarded a Charles Sturt CUP grant and has used the funding to build its new online services.
ALLong chairperson Mrs Roz Townsend said, “Although our face-to-face sessions had to be postponed for several weeks due to COVID-19 restrictions, ALLong has actually grown during this period.
“Our CEO, Dr Eevon Stott and her Charles Sturt University students, produced a series of videos that were broadcast online twice a week to the broader community, at no charge.
“This helped keep people exercising when they were otherwise couped up at home and greatly increased awareness of our programs.”
Dr Stott explained, “ALLong’s primary objective is to support older adults to maintain active lifestyles and retain functional independence through strength and balance training.
“While we prefer to supervise training in a gymnasium environment, we have proved that we can provide a degree of guidance and encouragement online, using ZOOM conferencing to ‘meet’ in small groups.
“This has also given us the ability to keep supporting Charles Sturt students and graduates, with our casual staff now able to resume some duties allowing me the time to develop the online services.”
Dr Stott said a third-year Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science practicum student-turned-ALLong Leader, Ashley Anderson, has been working at ALLong since November 2019, and was eager to resume contact with our members after the lockdown.
“The program proved so successful through the lockdown that we have now decided to make online servicing a permanent feature of our delivery model, in addition to the Charles Sturt University gym clinics,” she said.
“We are targeting two main groups – over-30s who may be experiencing difficulties in dealing with social restrictions, and the over-50s who just want to keep themselves moving.”
The ALLong online service offering can be viewed on the ALLong website.