COVID-safe ways to encourage healthy lifestyles for people with disability

Afford (Australian Foundation for Disability) and Heroes with Ability are finding innovative and COVID-safe ways to encourage healthy lifestyles for people with disability.

Recently, NRL player Ryan Matterson connected with Guildford Day Program participants during a COVID-safe virtual coaching sessions to provide footy skills tips and encouragement to stay fit and healthy during Sydney's lockdown.

Afford Day Program participants are connecting with Heroes with Ability facilitators and NRL players to run through fitness drills and footy skills to promote physical activity even in lockdown which has led to the cancellation of the weekly all abilities sports program offered by Heroes with Ability.

Heroes with Ability director and co-founder, Marco Quintao said they came up with a plan to have all Afford Day Programs connect with them via Zoom to stay "active and engaged."

"The online program still supports individuals with disability to learn about different footy techniques and provides ideas of drills to do at home, but it's also about providing a platform for social catch-ups to strengthen friendships and connections," he said.

"Having our NRL ambassadors join the Zoom sessions helps inspire our participants. Having one-on-one time with the stars of the sport is a real highlight for many of the participants."

Lifestyle Assistant Taran Latu said: "Our clients can't wait to get back to the sports centre for the Heroes with Ability program because it allows them to express their love for NRL and make their dreams and goals come true."