Dubbo parkrun part of bid to reduce obesity in Western NSW

RECRUITING: Marathon Health will ask its clients and other members of the community to join Dubbo parkrun. Photo: Contributed.
RECRUITING: Marathon Health will ask its clients and other members of the community to join Dubbo parkrun. Photo: Contributed.

Marathon Health will seek to boost the number of participants at Dubbo parkrun and Bathurst parkrun after securing funding from the Cancer Institute NSW to tackle obesity and skin cancer in Western NSW.

The funding from the Cancer Institute NSW’s Innovations in Cancer Control Grants program will also allow for the launch of a sun-safety campaign targeting school students in 10 communities in the region.

HealthStats NSW data reveals that 59.1 per cent of people living within the Western NSW Local Health District were overweight or obese in 2016.

Cancer Institute NSW data shows there were 758 melanoma events recorded in the health district between 2008 and 2012.

Marathon Health, a not-for-profit primary health care organisation that delivers health services and programs to regional and remote communities, has formed a team.

“We’ve created Team Marathon Health, through which we will be recruiting participants to come and join us on Saturday mornings at parkrun Bathurst or Dubbo,” Marathon Health’s health and well-being services manager Shellie Burgess said.

We’ve created Team Marathon Health, through which we will be recruiting participants to come and join us on Saturday mornings at parkrun Bathurst or Dubbo.

Marathon Health’s health and well-being services manager Shellie Burgess

“We will work with the participant through the whole process; signing up, setting goals and reaching those goals. The parkrun is such an inclusive event where everyone is welcome regardless of your physical abilities, and by walking alongside the team each Saturday we hope to help them feel confident to join in and enjoy being a part of it.”

Marathon Health intends to recruit clients who identify as being “sedentary and engaging in unhealthy choices”. But “new people” will not be excluded from the program.

“Marathon Health will also be engaging other health stakeholders to provide pop-up health promotion stalls to broaden the reach of cancer prevention information within the supportive and popular parkrun community environment,” Ms Burgess said.