Sport blooms at Floriade
Upwards of 4000 visitors each day to Canberra’s month-long Floriade festival are getting the chance to experience the diversity of sport, thanks to the Australian Sports Commission.
The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is a major sponsor of this year’s Floriade festival — the southern hemisphere’s biggest spring event — creating a combination of flowers and sport very in keeping with the 2009 theme of ‘mind, body and soul’.
Not only are visitors learning more about the ASC and Australian sport through static displays, but the ASC is also offering interactive demonstrations on nutrition, biomechanics, physiology, skill acquisition and talent identification, provided by experts from the Australian Institute of Sport.
Outside of the ASC marquee in Commonwealth Park, instructors from Swim and Fitness at the AIS are putting visitors through their paces with a range of free lunchtime group fitness classes, including yoga, pilates and super circuit.
Australian Institute of Sport athletes are also proving a big hit, providing free Sport in the Park activities, every day from 10.00am. Run in partnership with the ASC and local sporting organisations, the activity sessions cover a huge range of sports, from golf, softball and squash to rugby league, cricket and handball.
ACT coordinator of the ASC’s Active After-school Communities program, Gabe Hodges, said there has been a great response from the sport organisations involved.
‘Such has been the enthusiasm that in some cases we have had to limit how many times they deliver,’ Gabe said.
‘We are very appreciative of sporting organisations giving up their time and coming on board for the 30 days of Floriade. Hopefully we are going to see some people taking up an interest and wanting to become more involved with some of these sports once Floriade is finished.’
The huge variety of sporting opportunities has been greatly appreciated by visitors, who have embraced a Mother and Daughter Sports Challenge, the opportunity to get a professional sports bra fitting on board the Berlei Bra Bus, and helping celebrate the Turning to Sport for Good Health gala day.
Run in conjunction with Diabetes Australia, the gala day on 29 September featured appearances by Minister for Youth and Sport Kate Ellis and Adelaide Crows AFL player Nathan Bassett, activities for children and the performance of the official Turning to Sport for Good Health theme song ‘Turn to Sport and Play for Life’.
ASC activities at Floriade will continue right up until the end of the closing day on 11 October. From 6 October some of Australia’s best skaters will be taking to a mini-ramp for what pro-skater Andrew ‘Cuzza’ Currie has promised as ‘floral-fuelled shredding in the nation’s capital’. Then it will be the turn of local coaches and officials who will be officially thanked for their contribution to sport at a special function on 8 October.
ASC Community Sport Director Judy Flanagan said the focus of activities on the value of participating in sport married well with the Floriade theme and captured the ‘intrinsic contribution of sport to all Australians’.
‘Having the opportunity to promote sport in such a fantastic environment as Floriade with thousands of Canberrans and Australians from far and wide provides a unique opportunity to achieve common outcomes in terms of community and individual growth,’ said Flanagan.