Medibank has unveiled an innovative outdoor playground featuring the ‘Muttaburrassaurus’ giant dinosaur, to help kids rediscover the adventure of playing outside and inspire communities to become more active and healthy.

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Medibank Muttaburrasaurus dino hand 

Time-poor Aussie families, a lack of quality community sporting and recreation facilities, and parents’ concern about the risks of outdoor play, are among the key reasons for falling levels of outdoor activity.

A survey of Australian parents with children under the age of 13 reveals that technology and busy schedules are also causing families to spend less time outdoors, being active.

The key research findings include:

·       Around 60% of children play outside for just one hour or less per day on average

·       One third of children choose technology over play time with 40% owning their own tablets and 18% having a TV in their bedroom.

·       1 in 10 families have access to playgrounds in poor condition, or have no access at all.

·       1 in 10 children have too many scheduled extra activities to have free time outside.

·      20 per cent of kids would prefer watching TV to going outside to play

 
Together these factors are leading to an unhealthier nation, where obesity is now the leading cause of illness and premature death, affecting one in four children and three in five adults.

To help address these issues, Medibank is inviting not-for-profit groups across the country to apply for grants to spend on initiatives they believe will make their community a healthier place to be.

The $600,000 nationwide Medibank Community Grants help encourage healthy eating, physical activity and greater community connectedness. One-off grants will be provided to projects that promote health and wellbeing. And for the first time the public will be able to vote for their preferred community project from shortlisted applications.

Medibank’s Chief Customer Officer Laz Cotsios said the Medibank Community Grants encouraged people of all ages to lead healthier lives.

“Our vision is that everyone in the community, regardless of their age, health status or where they’re from, will live longer in good health by being encouraged to eat well, stay mentally and physically active and connected with their communities. It’s all part of Generation Better,” Mr Cotsios said.

“At Medibank we believe that every Australian should have access to facilities and programs that encourage physical activity and better health.”

To launch the Medibank Community Grant program, and bring Generation Better to life, Medibank have created an exciting play space, to give kids another reason to play outside. Unveiled today in Melbourne's inner west, it demonstrates how a community space can inspire outdoor play and activity.

The giant interactive dinosaur ‘Muttaburrasaurus’, modelled on the species that lived in Australia around 100 million years ago, is located at McNish Reserve in Yarraville.  

Medibank Muttaburrasaurus dino yarraville

Medibank Muttaburrasaurus dino park

A children’s book about the dinosaur’s outdoor adventures has been published and shared with local schools to further encourage imaginative outside play and invite kids down to the playground. Melbourne illustrator, Annie Davidson, illustrated the storybook about the Muttaburrasaurus entitled‘’Playing outside is the BEST!’. The book aims to bring the dinosaur to life and to keep young children interested in spending time outdoors. Copies can be found in local Medibank retail stores and selected community cafes and organisations.

More information about the Muttaburrassurus and the Medibank Community Grants can be found medibankcf.com.au

WHERE

McNish Reserve, Court St, Yarraville