Move to Improve

Move to Improve: Mary’s Rottnest swim to bring joy of surfing to WA kids.

Move to Improve: Mary’s Rottnest swim to bring joy of surfing to WA kids.

Mary Rogers is set to take part in the 400m Kids’ Swim for Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation (PCHF) on Saturday March 18, as part of the iconic Euroz Hartleys Port to Pub Swim with Hotel Rottnest. To date, Mary’s swim has raised almost $900, with determined 11-year-old training hard to build up her skills and endurance in freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke ahead of both the Kids’ Swim and her school swimming carnival.  

Funds raised for PCHF during the Kids’ Swim will help to fund Move to Improve, an innovative program that is the first of its kind in Australia. Move to Improve harnesses “exercise as medicine” to improve the lives of kids with chronic diseases such as cancer, type 1 diabetes, cerebral palsy, post-burns injuries and cystic fibrosis.

The pilot study, funded by PCHF, involved 15 children with cystic fibrosis and their families – including Mary – and showed positive trends in both emotional and physical health, and family relationships. Parent stress levels decreased, and children were happier and more relaxed with increased confidence.

The new program from researchers at Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) offers an innovative approach to improving mental health with the fun and fitness of surfing.

PCH Senior Clinical Psychologist Joanna White said: “Children and adolescents with chronic conditions have a 2 to 3 times greater risk of developing a mental health disorder than their healthy counterparts.


“Because families are impacted by the burden of managing a chronic condition the intervention is family-based, so potentially all family members can benefit.

“There is good evidence to suggest that surfing has positive effects on the general physical and psychosocial wellbeing of participants.”

Expected benefits of the program include increased physical fitness (through low impact activity), improved motor skill development and a sense of community belonging.

Although Port to Pub registrations have now closed for the main event, kids aged 8-12 can still sign up to take part in the 400m Kids’ Swim for PCHF right up until Saturday March 18. For more info or to sign up visit porttopub.com.au 

John Major artwork_Port to Pub

John Major’s From Port to Pub with Love prints are available to order, with 15% of proceeds donated to PCHF. Order your print here.

Move to Improve is funded by the Stan Perron Charitable Foundation and Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, with support from Principal Partner Mineral Resources Limited via Channel 7 Telethon Trust, Amazon, Globe BD and the WA community.  

Move to Improve is delivered in collaboration with clinical colleagues at PCH and research colleagues at The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute.

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