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Helping WA kids get a dose of exercise

Western Australian children with long-term health conditions are being prescribed a dose of fun and exercise as part of an innovative research program supported by Mineral Resources.

MinRes Chief Executive, Lithium Joshua Thurlow at Brighton Beach for Move to Improve surf session.

Move to Improve is funded by the Stan Perron Charitable Foundation and Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, with support from MinRes as Principal Partner via the Channel 7 Telethon Trust.

The Australian-first initiative, led by the Perth Children’s Hospital, offers surf sessions to kids with conditions such as cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, type 1 diabetes, juvenile arthritis, burns and cancer.

The project is evaluating the physical and mental health impacts of increased participation in physical activity on children with chronic conditions and their families.

On December 2, a team of volunteers from MinRes hit the waves with some of the children for a special surfing lesson facilitated by Go Surf Perth at Brighton Beach.

MinRes Chief Executive, Lithium Joshua Thurlow, who was among those in the water, said: “MinRes is proud to have committed almost $5 million to the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation since 2013.

“We are passionate about wellbeing and innovation – two things embodied by Move to Improve, a project which has had such a positive impact on the lives of young Western Australians.”

The surfing intervention is led by PCH Senior Clinical Psychologist Joanna White in collaboration with clinical colleagues at PCH and research colleagues at The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute.

In addition to surfing, from next year, kids with chronic conditions will also be able to take part in personalised Move to Improve programs as part of their routine clinical care.

Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Carrick Robinson added: “It’s thanks to the wonderful generosity of our donors that PCHF can continue to go above and beyond to provide these positive experiences to patients, with the aim of helping kids with chronic, long-term conditions to both live well and stay well.”