Altona beach is set to become only the second place in Australia outside Cairns to have free daily activities on the foreshore, from stand up paddleboarding to line dancing.
Altona Village Traders Association has banded with local businesses to put on events for the month of January on the main beach and along the foreshore and parks.
Other activities include yoga, qigong, boxing, self defence, art, line dancing, Indigenous mindfulness, Latin dance and volley ball.
AVTA liaison officer Sharon Walsh said that with part of the Esplanade being closed to cars over summer, there was an opportunity for businesses other than the cafes and restaurants to showcase their activities.
“I thought, let’s do some workouts on the waterfront,” she said.
“People can come along, they can have a try. You can do one, you can do them all.
“Say you want to join a gym but you don’t want to go down there, you don’t want to sign up. So, have a try – see if you like boxing, see if you like high intensity interval training.
“You may love Latin dancing – you never knew.
Ms Walsh said it was a Victorian first.
“There is one other place that does this – it is in Cairns – so we’ll claim it for Victoria at least,” she said.
“A lot of people do have January off and a huge percentage of people are not going away.
“So, we thought we’ll give this a try – and it’s free.
“It’s a credit to the people who are participating in this for them to put it on for free. It’s just how we work in Altona – everyone works together for the greater good.”
For businesses like Sun Seekers stand up paddleboarding, which started working with Altona RSL veterans three years ago, the holiday program is a chance to let more people know about what’s on offer.
Instructor Emma Moore said she loved the idea.
“We have such a beautiful natural resource here and it’s good to be able to get out and enjoy it, but not just sit on the beach – we can do something different while we’re down here,” she said.
“This way, we can do it out in the open air, do it as a community and get our blood moving and feeling good with ourselves.”
Details will be provided on the Altona Village Traders Association Facebook page.