The History of Prime Movers…
In 1985 the Ministry of Sport & Recreation in WA started “Have a Go” Programmes for seniors which included one for Exercises to Music. They sought volunteers for a training course and of 90 applicants 30 were successful including Wenda Packard. So, training commenced including lectures on anatomy and physiology. Wenda already had a background in conducting classes for seniors’ exercises. With this the stage for Prime Movers was set and it became a need to organise classes.
With her tireless energy she gathered a small number of kindred spirits to advertise her Exercise to Music for Seniors’ classes by promoting them in shopping centres throughout Perth by demonstrations. Progress was slow at the beginning, but it was clear that more instructors were necessary if progress of Prime Movers was to be maintained. So, with her drive and passion, Wenda devised a course for new instructors and from this course six new instructors emerged.
In 1987 the class grew slowly but surely and in 1988 at the ‘Have a Go Day’ held in Perth, Wenda lead the crowd in exercise to music. With much hard work and a few supporters, the group raised their own funds to support their expenses incurred by the running of classes. Wenda Packard became the catalyst force behind the name gaining grants from different government departments. Her drive and commitment exceeded all and showed her determination to achieve.
As the numbers grew, classes were formed throughout the metropolitan area of Perth. The name Prime Movers was officially born in 1989 and approved as an Incorporated body by the necessary government departments. With the growth of Prime Movers came new members and the opportunity to train new instructors. She put her personal life on hold and chose to develop a safe and friendly exercise group for the over 50’s to ensure they had a better chance at health and wellbeing as they moved into their later years.
Over the years, the public interest increased and so did the classes. So, from a humble beginning in 1987, Prime Movers has grown to more than 4000 members and running over 75 classes per week in the metropolitan area of Perth. Wenda still holds a key position in the group as Patron to Prime Movers. In 2004 Wenda was awarded Senior of the Year in Sport and Recreation. All the instructors are fully trained by accredited Prime Movers Instructors before passing a written exam. The Assessment Team are continually assessing the Instructors throughout the year to ensure a high level of exercise leadership is maintained throughout the group.
Even at 87 years of age Wenda is a ‘prime’ example that movement is a huge factor to the health and wellbeing of older people. In 2018, Wenda was awarded the prestigious honour of the Order of Australia for service to aged welfare. At many of the classes the age ranges from early 50’s into the 90’s. It is easy to see why Prime Movers Inc has been so successful once you visit a class. The friendship and camaraderie shown to both men and women enjoying low impact exercise and muscle work to music they know and love.
Come along and give it a go…..