Welcome to #GetLifelongReady
Get Ready for #GetLifelongReady
This is QORF’s online resource developed to encourage the outdoor recreation sector to engage Queenslanders in their 30s, 40s and 50s in active recreation opportunities. Here you will find information and resources including:
We recommend you start with The Basics section, it will help you think about why engaging people in these age groups is important in your work and it will step you through snapshots of information to help inform your approach to engaging adults in activities and increasing their participation.
1 The Basics
Who the toolkit is for, why it has been developed, and how it can be used.
#GetLifelongReady focuses on building the capacity of the outdoor recreation sector to better engage adult participants (i.e. people in their 30s, 40s and 50s). This age group is nominated because the physical activity habits developed during this life stage are an important precursor for continued physical activity into later years.
#GetLifelongReady focuses on four main areas for development, including:
- Enhancing/Developing participation opportunities for adults;
- Encouraging lifelong participation pathways;
- Upskilling staff and volunteer workforce to confidently deliver for a group that has a diverse range of subgroups, based on interests, needs and wants ; and
- Designing relevant marketing strategies to engage non-participants.
Fact Sheet: Overview of #GetLifelongReady
We are now more aware than ever of the importance of leading active and healthy lifestyles. However, active recreation participation by people in their 30s, 40s and 50s has decreased over the last decade. The research tells us people in their 30s, 40s and 50s often face barriers to participation. Some of these barriers are structural, for instance, our organisations are not providing opportunities targeted at these age groups, or the various interests within these age groups.
Adults in their 30s, 40s and 50s are rarely identified as a priority area for participation development. This is problematic given research has found our attitudes towards physical activity and our associated behaviours are developed cumulatively throughout our lives. This means we have a responsibility to offer targeted opportunities for people to get involved during each phase of their lives. It also means if we want older people in our communities to be active into the future, we need to encourage 30, 40 and 50 year olds to be active now.
QORF has developed this toolkit to provide information, showcase practical solutions and encourage engagement with adults in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are not currently actively participating in outdoor recreation.
This toolkit is for all people working in the outdoor recreation sector in Queensland, particularly recreation programmers and activity leaders. It was developed to:
- Encourage the outdoor recreation sector to identify people in their 30s, 40, and 50s as an important target group with needs and wants distinct from other priority groups (e.g. youth); and
- Demonstrate the opportunities this target group presents to the sector, given the disposable income people in this group have access to, as well as opportunities to increase memberships and build a greater pool of potential volunteers, leaders, committee members, etc.
This toolkit provides information and resources to prompt an assessment of the design and development of our outdoor recreation activities and encourage innovative thinking to engage people in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
The toolkit provides a package of factsheets with snapshots of information and practical suggestions, as well as access to the technical documents that resulted from the developmental phase of #GetLifelongReady (i.e. literature review and stakeholder consultation).
Keep in mind the diversity of this group – there is no one-size fits-all solution to engaging with people in their 30s, 40s and 50s to increase their active recreation participation. As you work through the information you are encouraged to assess its applicability to your activities, and develop context-based approaches to engaging targeted sub-groups within this broad target population.
In addition, policymakers may refer to the technical research papers to inform approaches to policy and design of grant funding to encourage innovation by the outdoor sector to engage people in their 30s, 40s and 50s, and more broadly, how we encourage participation across the lifespan.
Scroll down to 4.0 The Foundations to access the #GetLifelongReady research papers.
2 Design and Delivery of Opportunities
Adults need to be encouraged (and sometimes convinced) to participate in outdoor recreation activities. It is important to remove or reduce the barriers. The design and/or delivery of activities may not be conducive to welcoming adults back to an activity after many years away, or welcoming adults to participate in something for the first time.
There are three key aspects of design and delivery to encourage adult participation, including:
- Participation Opportunities,
- Attracting and Retaining Adults, and
- Workforce (both staff and volunteers).
Program offerings and the scheduling of activities may need to be modified to be welcoming and inclusive of adult participants. This market is diverse and has needs and wants distinct from other groups – we need to ensure the activities we are offering reflect and cater to this. The research emphasises the need to critically assess activities and the way we are delivering them. Do we need modified rules? Shorter distances? Family recreation options? Fitness options? Social options? Do we need to provide opportunities early in the morning, during work hours, at times when children are participating?
This fact sheet:
- Provides an overview of a range of preferences identified by adult participants;
- Suggests there is a role for adult-focused ‘come-and-try’ programs;
- Provides a spectrum of approaches we can consider in the design of inclusive programs and includes some practical examples.
Fact Sheet: Programming for Adults
Adults often face barriers to entry and go through a series of negotiations to participate in active recreation. They have various needs as they enter, re-enter or transition between activities. In addition, adults returning to activity require support to ensure positive experiences and continued participation.
This fact sheet:
- Provides an overview of structural and individual factors which influence an adult’s participation;
- Highlights the importance of re-thinking the traditional participation pathway to reflect the needs and wants of adult participants; and
- Suggests initiatives we can implement to connect with, and support, adults to take up active recreation.
Fact Sheet: Attracting and Retaining Adults
Adult Pre-Exercise Screening Forms
- Exercise and Sports Science Australia Adult Pre-Exercise Screening System
- City of Wanneroo (WA) Get a Healthy Life Program
Physical Preparation Resources
Examples of articles/blogs about getting started in particular activities
#GetLifelongReady identifies the importance of staff and volunteers to understand the rationales of targeting people in their 30s, 40s and 50s, and being equipped to deliver high quality and supportive experiences.
Entering, or re-entering, an activity as an adult is challenging. The ability for staff and volunteers to assess and support physical abilities, alter activities for inclusion and promote social connectedness is critical to providing positive experiences and ensuring continued participation.
Staff and volunteers are encouraged to work their way through resources provided in this toolkit to gain a full understanding of the #GetLifelongReady project and the potential to implement aspects of the project within the outdoor sector.
In addition, we have prepared a factsheet on leading adults in group activities in the outdoors. This fact sheet:
- Highlights key considerations when leading adults who are new, or returning, to an activity;
- Sets out learning styles and ways to respond to these; and
- Provides suggestions for preparing and facilitating positive group experiences.
Fact Sheet: Leading Adults
#GetLifelongReady highlights the importance of marketing in raising awareness and encouraging participation in sport and active recreation.
It is possible that there are great activities available, but without marketing very few people are aware of them. It’s important that your participation opportunity is marketed realistically and to manage expectations.
#GetLifelongReady brings challenges of trying to engage those not already participating – it is important to be targeted – you may not be able to be everything to everyone – so think carefully about who you will engage. Imagery used in marketing should be well considered and relevant to your target market – there is the potential to engage or alienate in the blink of an eye.
Fact Sheet: Engaging Our Target Market
4 The Foundations
The developmental phase of #GetLifelongReady resulted in two technical documents, including a review of literature and stakeholder consultation workshops report.
5 Your Case Studies
Are you already doing great things to get adults active in the outdoors? We would love to hear about initiatives which align with #GetLifelongReady and may help other outdoor providers see ways they can develop and enhance their engagement with adults.
Please fill out the Case Study Questionnaire to give us an overview of your initiative and to help us start building a case study to showcase are inspire other outdoor organisations to #GetLifelongReady.
To help us understand how effective the #GetLifelongReady program is and to evaluate the online toolkit please complete the Evaluation Survey.
7 Additional Resources
#GetLifelongReady was developed by QORF,
and enabled through the 2015 Medibank Community Benefit Fund.