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FAME provides community led assistance

People who have survived a stroke have found FAME in Launceston.

FAME – Fitness and Mobility Exercise Program - is a research-based group exercise program designed to help provide ongoing physical activity in the community for people who have suffered a stroke.

“People after stroke are generally more sedentary and less fit, and the right exercise can help in recovery and to reduce complications including the potential of another stroke,” lead FAME educator and University of Tasmania School of Health Sciences’ lecturer Dr Marie-Louise Bird said.

“After someone’s treatment of therapy ends there are currently limited opportunities for people after stroke to do exercise in community centres that is targeted to their needs and delivered by instructors with specific training.”

Last year in Tasmania, more than 660 people experienced stroke for the first time with more than 11,000 survivors of stroke living in the community according to Stroke Foundation Australia.

Dr Bird, who is a registered physiotherapist, was on a study trip to Canada when she became aware of FAME.

“FAME is developed and based on research, and helps to improve mobility, balance, fitness and strength for people after stroke,” she said.

“It’s specifically designed to be taught in community settings, where it complements and builds on the rehabilitation therapy people have received.”

YMCA Launceston is the first community centre in Australia to host FAME. The facility is partnering with the University’s School of Health Sciences where Dr Bird is providing training to class instructors to implement FAME for Tasmanians in this community.

“At the Y, our goal is to get more people, more active, more often.  Every person’s pathway to health is different, so the opportunity to partner with the University in establishing the FAME program, was something we are really excited about,” says Kate Nelson, YMCA Community Development Coordinator and FAME educator.

“We have been impressed by the research-based approach and the chance to support participants’ health.  In addition to the program itself, participants and their carers have the option to socialise before or after each class.  We know social connection plays a large role in people’s wellbeing.  With the FAME program, the YMCA wants to ensure participants and the communities that support them continue to stay physically active, increase their wellbeing, and stay engaged with one another,” said Ms Nelson.

To learn more about the program, class schedule, or to book in for a session please contact Kate Nelson at the YMCA of Launceston email at

Image: YMCA Community Development Coordinator and FAME educator Kate Nelson with a class participant Brian Morrison.

Published on: 25 Jun 2021 10:55am