Western communities given a helping hand to get active

Collarenebri, Lightning Ridge and Walgett communities benefit from Far West Active Fest, donated sports goods and programs

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Collarenebri youngsters were among those getting active as part of Far West Active Fest. Photo: Supplied

Collarenebri youngsters were among those getting active as part of Far West Active Fest. Photo: Supplied

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Far West Active Fest helps promote healthy living in state's Far West.

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Communities in the state's Far West have benefited from a program launched by the state government, Mission Australia, the NRL, Creative Community Concepts, Kit Bag for Kids, MALO Republic and Black Dog Institute.

Launched in Collarenebri, Lightning Ridge and Walgett last week, locals of all ages were able to participate in the Far West Active Fest, which included a variety of activities such as a colour run, an obstacle course and mental health workshops.

Former NRL player Nathan Blacklock was on hand to help deliver the activities, which included the donation of free sports gear in the hopes to inspire more people to get active.

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NSW Sports Minister Geoff Lee said Far West Active Fest was a fantastic concept and urged communities across the region to get involved.

"Children living in rural and remote communities often don't get the opportunity to participate in events like this," Mr Lee said.

"We want to ensure that every child has the opportunity to get involved in sport and recreation, regardless of their location or background, so I encourage families in Far West NSW to get involved when the event comes to their community."

MALO Republic co-founders and professional triathletes Luke and Beth Mackenzie said they recognise the impact that sporting activities and quality gear had on their own development as kids.

"At MALO, our mission, and the acronym for our brand is "Making Active Little Ones". The upcoming Creative Community Concepts events are an amazing opportunity to put this into action and supply Far West youth with sports clothes that make them excited to get moving and inspire them to live an active lifestyle," they said.

Creative Community Concepts general manager Kyle Myers said they were proud to have been delivering community events to Far West communities for many years now.

"While these days have always been rewarding and a great success, adding on a Colour Run is going to be fantastic," Mr Myers said.

"Having the likes of Creative Community Concepts, Far West Academy of Sport, Office of Sport, Black Dog Institute, NSW Rugby League and now MALO Republic with Kit Bag for Kids all come together to deliver a great event is going to be extremely beneficial to each community, especially knowing physical activity and mental wellbeing go hand-in-hand."

Black Dog Institute community presenter and former Balmain Tigers rugby league player Wayne Wigham said that keeping mentally healthy is incredibly important and exercise is a key way to do so.

"Community sport combines that all important exercise with socialising with friends and peers too," Mr Wigham said.

"We're pleased to return again to have fun with these communities and promote mental health through community sport."

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