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What is the CAAWS 55 to 70+ PROJECT for ‘young senior’ women

Physical Activity and Sport for Women Aged 55 to 70+ is a project created by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) focussed on increasing sport and physical activity opportunities for women (ages 55 – 70+).

The 55-70+ age group is one of the fastest growing populations in Canada and will be increasing substantially over the next 20 years. These women, although over age 55, do not consider themselves 'seniors' or 'older adults' as they feel they are far too young for that. These women are also looking to continue what they did or do (e.g. basketball or hockey) but they do not want to play with the younger women- they want something for them and at the moment there is currently not a lot offered or even considered in most communities across Canada.

With this population growing steadily it is important that women 55-70+, the new 'young seniors', are able to participate in a host of activities designed with their needs in mind. By understanding the needs of women 55-70+, stakeholders (recreation, urban planning, public health, private industry, etc.) will better serve this diverse group at a time that it is so important for them to be active.

About the Project
The Physical Activity and Sport for Women 55-70+ project was funded nationally in 2005 by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Over the last four years cross Canada focus groups and national research was conducted resulting in the development of new resources, delivery of workshops and training of Master Trainers throughout Canada.

In 2009, the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport provided project funding to increase sport and physical activity participation for Ontario women 55-70+ and in 2010, the Ontario Trillium Foundation provided additional multi-year funding. Through these projects numerous regional workshops across Ontario have taken place and 35 pilot projects are currently underway. These pilot projects are aimed at starting or enhancing sport and physical activity opportunities for women 55-70+ for things like soccer, pickle ball, nordic pole walking, synchronized skating and so much more. The idea is for women 55-70+ to not only participate but lead these activities for themslves, their peers and their communities… as many have said… “we’re just getting started!”

Partners involved in the initial development of resources were: The Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, Canadian Nurses Association; Osteoporosis Canada; Active Living Coalition for Older Adults; Public Health Agency of Canada; Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport; Ontario Trillium Foundation; and CAAWS.

National Partners:
BC- ProMOTION Plus; BC Recreation and Parks Association; AB- Albeta Centre for Active Living; Grand Prairie Regional College; YK- Recreation and Parks Association Yukon; MB- Active Living Coalition for Older Adults; QC- Egale Action, FADOQ; SK- Saskatchewan in Motion; NWT- NWT Recreation and Parks Association; NF- Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador; NB- L’Université du 3èÂge du Sud-est du Nouveau-Brunswick (UTASE); Senior and Healthy Aging Secretariat (New Brunswick Government)- New Brunswick; Healthy Eating Physical Activity Coalition of New Brunswick (HEPAC); Go Ahead Seniors Inc.; PEI- PEI Department of Health and Wellness; NS- Nova Scotia Department of Health Promotion and Protection; ON- Parks and Recreation Ontario; Sport 4 Ontario; Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport; Ontario Trillium Foundation; Ottawa Heart Institute; Ontario Senior Games; Hamilton YWCA; Ottawa Girls and Women in Sport; Northwestern Health Unit

Special thanks to the Public Health Agency of Canada, Legacies Now, Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport and Ontario Trillium Foundation for providing initial and on-going support for this project.

 
Photos courtesy of CAAWS - Mariann Domonkos Photography
© Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity, 2006-2011