Waratah Wynyard Council

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Waratah Wynyard Council works with its community to create an environment where its people can prosper and enjoy the municipality's unique advantages. Since 2011 the Council has sponsored a Healthy Communities Project.

Arthritis Tasmania had been running tai chi for arthritis classes in Wynyard independently of Council for some time. However, due to the popularity and health benefits of the classes the Council started to promote the classes and where possible offer support to local volunteer instructors such as the provision of a venue and insurance to enable volunteer instructors to conduct beginner classes in Myalla and Boat Harbour Beach.

Through their involvement the Council became aware that Tai Chi for Health and Tai Chi for Arthritis Accredited Instructors are required to update their teaching qualification every two years to ensure a high standard of quality and safety is maintained in their teaching practice. These updates can only be delivered by a Master Trainer registered with the Tai Chi for Health Institute. As there are no Master Trainers living in Tasmania it is necessary for individual Tasmanian instructors to travel interstate to attend these accredited training sessions. Combined with the cost of travel and accommodation this is unaffordable for most instructors, the majority of who volunteer to teach tai chi in local halls or through community houses.

With support from the Tasmanian Community Fund, the Council was able to provide training to 25 people from across Tasmania to enable them to update their qualifications. These trainers can continue to provide tai chi classes and enable people to improve their health. Across Tasmania hundreds of people will benefit from being able to continue or begin to access tai chi classes in urban, rural and regional centres.

As part of the training, community members, participants and participants’ families were invited to attend a twilight tai chi session that contained a number of demonstrations aimed at encouraging more people to take up tai chi to benefit their health and well-being.