Park It with a paddle
  • Wednesday 16 July 2008

Join 72-year old May Woodward and her team of outrigger canoe paddlers.

Building on the success of its Get Active in Noosa program, Council’s Community and Development Unit (Tewantin) continues its Park It series of physical activities, designed to get you ‘up and running’, paddling, or singing by the sea as the case may be.

On Wednesday mornings in Noosaville, you can find 72-year old May Woodward breaking the surface of the otherwise tranquil Noosa River, with a paddle – her swarthy band of fitness fanatics in tow.

May has been an avid sportswoman for much of her life through netball, swimming and bushwalking, prior to discovering the benefits of an upper body workout through outrigging.

“For me it’s an excellent way to keep fit from the waist up, since I had a fall and smashed my femur into three parts,” she explains.

“I’ve been paddling on Noosa River since I was 69, and have competed in Regattas in the past. I just wish I had discovered it earlier.

“But the club is not all about competition – the social aspects are really important, for instance, today we will have a coffee together, other times we meet up to go to dinner or the movies. A couple of years ago a few of the members travelled to Vietnam together.

“We have retained around 20 per cent of the people who started with us and this is partly due to the social interaction that this activity supports, and the sense of community that grows from it. When someone’s sick for instance, the team want to know about it, and as you get older this sense of community is all the more important.

Located in the beautiful parks and outdoor areas throughout the Noosa coast and hinterland, the Park It program is open to people of all ages, experience or fitness levels.

The program’s activities include:

  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Fitness circuits
  • Outrigger Canoe Paddling
  • Power Walking
  • Sing to the Sea (a unique and expressive activity for reducing tension and increasing lung capacity).
  • Music and Movement – for babes, toddlers and their carers.

“Remaining active during the colder months is especially important to help ward off some of the winter ills,” says Associate Professor Brendan Burkett, Director of CHASE (Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise) at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

“Research shows that moderate daily exercise can improve the body's immunity and thus reduce the likelihood of becoming sick.”

Activities with the Park It program cost $2 per session and are all self-paced or low impact. Everyone is welcome to attend. Remember, be sun safe and bring a hat, sunscreen and water to all activities.

The winter season of Park It runs from 2 July – 31 August. To find out more about the Park It program, contact the Community Development Unit, Tewantin Office on 5449 5100