Bass Coast,

Walking Poles Help Explore New Terrain


While many of us take the ability to go for a leisurely walk along the beach for granted, there are others who find it difficult to walk down the footpath, let alone on uneven ground.

The recently launched Physical Activity Library Loan Scheme, however, has made a significant change to one Bass Coast resident and will potentially improve the abilities of many more.

Silverleaves resident, Helen Rawson, was confined to the footpath by her walking frame, or sometimes a walking stick.

After being introduced to the walking poles, available for loan from all Bass Coast libraries, Ms Rawson said has found them to be “absolutely invaluable”.

Ms Rawson recently took the walking poles on a European holiday and was able to conquer a variety of terrains previously unimaginable.

“Being a very senior person with limited walking ability and going overseas for a short time, it was necessary to travel with a rollator, but this would not assist me on two day trips by coach to firstly, the Fairy tale Castles of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, and a tour of Salzburg (Mozart and The Sound of Music) in Austria,” Ms Rawson said.

“As I had experienced the walking poles prior to leaving, I decided they would be my best aid to assist me on these days.

Because the height of the poles allows you to stretch up as you walk, they proved invaluable, especially when I became lost in the Bavarian forest at Neuschwanstein and found myself having to hasten with as much speed as possible to re-join the coach which could have left without me – having delayed it by half an hour.”

After returning home, Ms Rawson got in contact with Council and was able to buy her own set of walking poles through the same supplier.

“With walking sticks, the body tends to lean forward, not helping your posture. The poles allow you to stretch up and give you support as you take each step. And thanks to my activity with the poles overseas, I came home over three kilos lighter!”

“They allow me to be more adventurous. I live near the beach here in Silverleaves and it’s been three years since I walked down to the beach – you don’t go where wheels don’t turn.

“Walking poles would allow me to happily walk along the beaches on Phillip Island, and I’m interested in joining a walking group too. They really do give you a greater freedom.”

The Physical Activity Library Loan Scheme is a joint project between Bass Coast Shire Council’s ‘Living Healthy Bass Coast Project’, West Gippsland Regional Library Corporation and Gippsland Medicare Local.

Walking poles and pedometer kits are available for loan in the same way a book can be borrowed from all Bass Coast libraries – Wonthaggi, Cowes, Inverloch and the Mobile Library.