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A FREE weekly Tai Chi class in Port Douglas is the best medicine for local Josephine Matthews.

The charismatic retiree, who lives her life to the fullest despite suffering from multiple sclerosis, credits the weekly class at Rex Smeal Park for improving her quality of life and physical abilities.

“I’ve been paralysed 13 times because of a medical condition I suffer from – going to the weekly Tai Chi classes is the best medicine for me,” she said.

“The Tai Chi moves get my blood flowing, it’s improved my balance and coordination; and the classes encourage my husband and I to get outside and help us to forget about our worries.

“I’m so happy to have this class to go to each week, I would come two or three times a week if I could and I’d encourage anyone of any age or ability to join us.”

Tai Chi Active8 Josephine Matthews

Douglas Shire Council has received further funding through the North Queensland Primary Health Network to continue the Active8 Program until June 2020.

The free Active8 fitness programs focus on an entry-level of fitness with a separate seniors programs being delivered to the community.

Aquafit, Tai Chi, Park Zumba and Senior Movement & Parkour are just a few of the free programs on offer at various locations.

The program attracts about 150 people to various classes per week.

Council’s Sport and Recreation Officer Renee Ker said Douglas Shire was out-performing any other North Queensland Council per capita in attendance.

“The Active8 program has delivered some exceptional results in terms of attendance and is helping to forge healthy habits and increased fitness and mobility,” she said.

“The calibre of the instructors, the session types on offer and the community’s response to this program has made these exceptional results possible.”

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the Active8 Free Fitness Program exceeded Council’s expectations.

“Community participation was the driving force behind the program being extended,” she said.

“The Active8 Free Fitness Classes were designed to remove participation barriers such as cost, transport and fitness expectation, and encourage people to get moving in a fun and relaxed environment.

“Council is thrilled to see the program extended and we’d like to encourage anyone who hasn’t tried one of the classes to give them a go.”

For the full program including schedule and times, visit:

Programs in Port Douglas will be moved to the community hall if it rains.

Douglas Shire Council is proud to deliver the Active8 Free Fitness Program supported with funding from North Queensland Primary Health Network.

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