15 March 2016

Media Release

Stockland and Bowls Australia today celebrated the start of a new partnership to boost the health and wellbeing of more than 11,000 residents living in Stockland retirement villages across the country.

Under the new partnership, Stockland and Bowls Australia will work together to encourage residents to participate in social and competitive lawn bowls, coaching clinics, and free health and wellbeing seminars.

Today’s launch at Stockland’s Mernda Retirement Village in Victoria saw Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and Australian Jackaroo, Barrie Lester, lead a coaching clinic for residents, which will continue to be rolled out by other bowls personalities as part of the three year partnership.

Stockland General Manager of Retirement Living, Anna Learmonth said: “This is all about encouraging happier, healthier, more active residents at all of our villages. Research shows that regular physical activity for retirees is the key to maintaining good health and vitality and one of the most effective ways to improve emotional wellbeing."

“We want to encourage our residents to get involved, keep fit, stay connected and be a part of something they can enjoy in a group. Bowls offers all of that.”

Recent research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows people aged 65 and over have the lowest participation rate in physical activity nationally, at 47 percent, as well as the lowest rate of involvement in organised sport, at 17 per cent. Stockland and Bowls Australia are working together to improve this record – one bowls game at a time.

Bowls Australia CEO, Neil Dalrymple, said: “Bowls is a fantastic form of physical activity for older Australians. It encourages the full breadth of muscle movement, the enjoyment of being in the outdoors as well as socialisation in a group environment. Playing social or competitive bowls has been found to have a number of physical and mental health benefits that increases happiness of senior Australians. The sport also facilitates long lasting friendships that are often a central feature of the social support network for older people who may have lost their partner.”

Danielle Green MP, Member for Yan Yean, joined today’s launch of the new partnership. “It is great to see Stockland and Bowls Australia partnering to encourage sport for seniors in this community and across the country. I’m absolutely delighted to see active and happy seniors living life to the fullest here in Mernda.”

Stockland’s annual surveys of retirees, involving the majority of the 11,000 residents in their Retirement Villages across Australia, also highlights the importance of social activities for health and wellbeing.

Almost one third (30%) of respondents said the social life of their village was the most important factor; Seniors also stated they were increasingly engaging in a wide range of social activities in the village that surrounds their homes.

The 2015 survey revealed that one of the secrets to a happy life in retirement is to maintain an active social life as part of a well-connected and supportive community.

Anna Learmonth added: “At many Stockland retirement villages across Australia we offer residents state-of-the art clubhouse complexes, heated pools, gyms and bowling greens. These facilities are all a part of making village life as social and enjoyable as possible.”

Stockland prides itself on its best practice approach in Retirement Living and was recognised with national Lifemark Accreditation last year. Stockland continues to improve village services and offerings in all facets of its Retirement Living business to ensure older Australians enjoy a fulfilling retirement.