There is overwhelming evidence our region’s population of people over the age of 55 is growing strongly and will continue to do so. This population growth in older people is not surprising given the desirability of the region as a retirement destination.

It is clear from research over many years that an active lifestyle promotes wellbeing and physical exercise is vital in improving health outcomes. It is also clear that positive social engagement and inclusion is just as vital.

For people who are over 55 and thinking of trying new activities, pursuing a lifelong interest and making new friends then Warrigal’s My Club Connect is the answer.

My Club Connect brings together like-minded people from all over the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Queanbeyan/Canberra regions by providing easy access to social groups special interest clubs and deals to any over 55’s in the community..

Originally piloted in 2018 – My Club Connect quickly grew to 1028 active members and 87 affiliated Clubs and growing.

My Club Connect is free to join and its new website www.myclubconnect.com.au is searchable for interest type, activity name, location.

If members can’t find a group already listed that interests them, they can contact Warrigal to either locate one or help them start their own.

Local clubs and activity groups are encouraged to list with My Club Connect to promote their group – and this can be formal clubs or as  informal as people looking for others to play cards with or go fishing.

There is also a free biannual member’s magazine

Local businesses are invited to offer special deals for My Club Connect members and these are constantly updated. This provides an economic benefit for our regional economy as it directly engages small and medium local businesses and connects them with customers interested in the services they offer.

And as volunteering is a great way to keep both connected and give back, My Club Connect also offers volunteering opportunities.

Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, said the new service aligns strongly with Warrigal’s vision of older people living great lives.

“We are encouraging social participation, cohesion and even providing a sense of identity with this initiative and we’re very excited about that prospect. It’s often people in this cohort that retire and find themselves disconnected from their community or struggling to find ways to connect with like-minded people. My Club Connect provides a platform to enable such connections to take place.”

A small sample of clubs already on-board with My Club Connect include Living Connected, Walking Football, Travellers photography group, the Figtree Follies theatrical group, Shell Cove Activities Group, the Merrigong Music in the Mornings group, the Travel Club, the Albion Park CWA, WEA Senior Connect, the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, Yoga at Shell Cove and the Brewers Club.

Some of the many businesses on-board supporting this great community initiative include Flagstaff, Pippi’s Café (Shell Cove), Milk & Co Coffee, The Travel Club.

For more information or to join the club, visit the My Club Connect website: www.myclubconnect.com.au