Practical health advice, tailored exercise and community support.
These are just some of the offerings available for men living in the Ballarat area through the ever-growing Sons of the West program.
Provided by the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation in partnership with the city of Ballarat, Sons of the West has been successfully running in Sebastopol for several years, but for the first time in 2024 will also run in Wendouree.
“After the success of our pilot expansion of Daughters of the West in 2023, we’re really excited to be able to bring this equal opportunity to the men of Ballarat and surrounds,” explained Gabby Hutchins, Ballarat and Community Programs Coordinator of the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation.
“By offering both a day and a night program, we are looking forward to being able to empower as many people as possible to take control of their health and well-being, without them being limited by their work or life schedules.”
Initially launched in 2014, Sons of the West was designed to address the health disparities faced by men in the western regions of Melbourne, offering free access to health education, fitness programs and mental health resources.
Last year, 93% of the Ballarat cohort agreed that their participation in Sons of the West had empowered them to take better care of their own health and wellbeing.
“It was great that these sessions catered for everyone's exercise levels and abilities – it's a very inclusive space which was great to see,” explained one participant.
“The (personal) trainers were able to see if someone needed extra help or to ease off a little or to be pushed harder.
“(There are) great options for different activities each week…it was amazing to see and hear the improvements that attendees made from week one to week 10.”
The program's holistic approach to men's health has fostered an environment where participants not only improve their physical health, but also form lasting bonds and support networks within their community.
Mental fitness, cooking classes and insight into other opportunities to get involved in the local community are just a few of the highlights that participants across both Ballarat sites can look forward to.
Each session will also incorporate an exercise segment that is tailored to each participant’s individual needs, ensuring that no-one is left behind.
Residents of Ballarat are encouraged to click here for more information.