RSL NSW Sport & Recreation Program update: 5 RSL sub-Branches share their story

How the RSL NSW Sport & Recreation Program has set a gold standard for encouraging veterans’ physical and social wellbeing.

The outstanding success of the RSL NSW Sport & Recreation Program in 2023 – when more than 500 events were held and more than 1,000 participants took part – has laid the groundwork for another strong year in 2024 and helped make the program the biggest of its kind in Australia.

RSL sub-Branches small and large have registered their family-friendly events in the program calendar on the RSL NSW website, which is your go-to location for finding out what’s happening in your area.

More than 420 activities, from lawn bowls to trivia to kayaking, were delivered from January to May 2024, with 70 sub-Branches having registered for the program. Of the 23 districts across the state, 17 have had at least one sub-Branch participating.

The program is on track to deliver more than 1,000 events by the end of the year, according to Program Coordinator Jen Reynolds, with the family members of veterans often participating.

“And there are many other sub-Branches delivering the program who haven’t formally registered,” she says. “I believe once you see and experience that, it fuels a conversation to continue trying different activities and to grow the program further.

“When veterans see the scope of different activities that are on offer, they get very excited and naturally drawn in to participate.”

The key message Reynolds has for smaller sub-Branches is to combine forces to have a bigger impact.

“Try not to get bogged down in the details of planning something large,” she suggests. “Get started with something small, and experience the joy of bringing people together.”

Activities organised as part of the program have, in no small part, contributed towards an increase in membership at each of the following sub-Branches.

 

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