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Age no barrier to getting active with water sports

21 February 2019

More than 300 Uniting aged care residents with an average age of 85 yesterday proved that age was no barrier to taking on physical challenges and learning new skills on the water at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith.

Accompanied by staff and volunteers from 17 Uniting aged care facilities across Sydney, residents enjoyed a day of sailing, fishing and memory making with old friends and new.

This is the fourth year running that Uniting has staged this event which was officially opened by NSW Minister for Sport and Member for Penrith, the Hon Stuart Ayres MP.

The sailing event, which is believed to be the biggest of its kind, was held in partnership with Sailability, Sodexo (Catering), Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation.

Assisted by Sailability and students from Winmalee High School, residents were encouraged to take up the opportunity to participate in a range of on-site water-based sports and activities made available for their use on the day, including sailing remote control naval boats.

Event organiser and Uniting Leisure and Wellness Coordinator Nic Langenberg says residents look forward to this major event as it provides a unique opportunity to enjoy a range of outdoor activities as well as a picnic lunch, live music and dancing.

“At Uniting, we support and encourage residents to make the most of every opportunity to enjoy being active and to live life to the fullest.

“Days like today empower older people to take life with both hands and actively engage with the broader community. They also help to break down the stigma attached to aging and shows that mobility restrictions are no barriers for the young at heart,” Ms Langenberg said.

Uniting Arrunga resident 82 year-old Margo Harrison is a former PE teacher and knows the importance of staying active, but hadn’t tried sailing until moving into Uniting aged care.

“Once I tried it I loved it,” she says enthusiastically. “It was great spending time with the volunteer students too,” she added.


Image available on request.

Caption: Uniting Arrunga Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator Walleen Ameyaw (centre) with residents Margo Harrison (left) and Mrs Joung Han (right) as they prepare to go sailing on Penrith Lakes.

Media contacts

Contact Media@uniting.org or 0457 568 938.