The Heart Foundation’s first and biggest shopping centre walking group recently celebrated dual milestones during a specially organised event held at Brookside Shopping Centre.
After turning 30 last year, the Brookside Walking Group gathered to recognise their 25 year partnership with Heart Foundation Walking.
The group was one of the first of its kind nationwide when it began in 1991 and was the Heart Foundation’s first shopping centre walking group when they partnered in 1996. It is now grown to be the Heart Foundation’s largest in the country with over 180 registered members.
Heart Foundation Queensland State Manager Sheree Hughes said their now national walking program began in Queensland and Brookside Walking Group has always led the charge with enthusiasm.
‘The Heart Foundation’s walking program now operates under a national model, with generous funding from the Australian Government, Health and Wellbeing Queensland, and Brisbane City Council. This support means that over 200,000 walkers nation wide can enjoy the Heart Foundation Walking Program in their communities for free.’
Hughes also said that walking within a shopping centre makes a lot of sense as it provides a safe and secure environment that allows their walkers to exercise rain, hail or shine.
Brookside Marketing Manager Christian Polglase said the group was an important member of its community and epitomises what is great about shopping centre environments.
‘In practical terms, we provide them with a roof to keep the rain off and a clean, flat surface to walk on, but in reality, the Centre acts as a common meeting place where they can regularly connect with friends whilst looking after themselves,’ said Mr Polglase.
A number of individual walkers were recognised during the event including eight long-term members who have participated in over 2000 walks, including foundation member Marie Wessel.
The Brookside Walking Group meet each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6.45am, near the Customer Service Desk. To find a group in your area visit https://walking.heartfoundation.org.au