The Wangaratta ‘Walk to School’ program, coordinated by Wangaratta Indoor Sports and Aquatic Centre (YMCA) was announced as the winner of the Community Activation Award at the sixth instalment of the 2020 virtual Australian Fitness Awards ceremony.

Held by the nation’s peak fitness industry body, Fitness Australia, the Awards recognise and celebrate individuals, businesses and community groups dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Australians by providing exceptional programs and high-quality professional services.

The annual event is the only national awards program dedicated to the fitness industry and received a record 2,000 nominations across eleven categories for individuals, businesses and community groups.

Sponsored by Guild Super, the Community Activation Award aims to recognise programs and initiatives that are making a positive contribution to the community by encouraging and supporting active and healthy lifestyle choices.

As part of Victoria Health’s state wide ‘Walk to School’ initiative, the Wangaratta YMCA coordinated the regions ‘Walk to School’ program in partnership with the Rural City of Wangaratta Council, Northeast Health, Gateway Health and GoTafe to deliver a range of activities to encourage families in the region to be more active during the four-week program.

The program aims to teach kids that getting active to and from school is fun, instils healthy habits that families can use for life and also informs children about safe travel.

With 100 percent of school participation across the Wangaratta region, seeing a total of 2370 local students walking, riding and scooting an impressive 30,630 kilometres during the four-week program in October 2018, all businesses and community members involved have been recognised for making an outstanding contribution to the health and wellbeing of the community by encouraging healthy and active lifestyle education.

Fitness Australia CEO, Barrie Elvish, congratulated the Australian Fitness Award winners and said the award recipients’ stories of commitment and excellence were outstanding.

Mr Elvish said:

“Every Award winner has demonstrated the upmost dedication to the health and wellbeing of their communities through consistently delivering high quality services in a professional and safe manner.”

“It is humbling to hear the stories of community connection and spirit to encourage active and healthy lifestyles.”

An expert panel, consisting of a diverse group of industry representatives, conducted a thorough assessment of each finalist across a range of areas including professionalism, customer care, knowledge and skills, safety, and leadership to select the category winners.

The next virtual award ceremony will take place on Thursday May 21 and will announce this year’s Personal Trainer of the Year, sponsored by Lorna Jane.

More information about the 2020 Australian Fitness Awards can be found here.

For more information about Fitness Australia, please visit: or follow Fitness Australia on Facebook.