Latest figures released by Sport Australia has revealed the top sports and physical activities in the country and how participation changes as people age, with surprising results.
Yoga is growing in Horsham, with people rolling out the yoga mat for the first time later in life.
The surge of popularity in women's football has been recogised in the Wimmera with an inaugral competitive seniors side.
Soccer is one of the most popular sports for children in Australia and Horsham's soccer community is trying to develop in a town focused on it's traditional sports.
A late unfurling of the mat
Julie Rees hadn't given much thought to taking up yoga until her daughter persuaded her to tag along.
Despite some initial hesitation, she joined many older residents who are choosing to roll out the yoga mat.
"I've always been into fitness and only picked up yoga in the past few years," Ms Rees said.
"My daughter had been going for a while, and I've taken it up too, and I have to say they're the best night sleeps I've had. I love it.
"I'm very glad she twisted my arm."
At 60-years-old, Julie Rees is one of a band of people who are taking up yoga in the later in life.
Yoga is the 11th most popular physical activity in the country, exceeding both football and cricket, according to the latest participation data released by Sport Australia.
For women aged between 35 and 44, and those older than 55, it is the fourth most popular physical activity.
"Because I'm older I thoroughly believe we need to stretch our bodies and get as much flexibility into them as we can," Ms Rees said.
"For people my age, as we get older, we can slip or twist or fall, and if we're stiffer in our body, those things are going to hurt so much more.
"With yoga, I'm hopefully going to avoid that."
Nearly one million people participated in yoga at least once a week last year. But, the yoga mats aren't yet flying out the shop doors in the Wimmera.
Aaron Schultz returned to his native Horsham a few years ago to share his passion for yoga and now runs weekly sessions.
"In rural areas like we have here it's not common, so yoga is still quite a new thing. You know Melbourne and Sydney and those larger areas it's really quite popular, most do it," Mr Schultz said.
"But it is growing, and more people are coming in here to give it a try."
Julie Rees said not many people thought about yoga in the Wimmera, with many focused on the traditional ball sports.
"I think because we're a very sports-minded area and that being the hard, physical sports, that yoga hasn't been thought of much," Ms Rees said.
"It's something we need to look at with all the stress and anxiety in the community. It's something that might be a bit of a fixer-upper, so you say."
Aaron Schultz practices Yin yoga, a variant that has people hold positions for longer to stretch connective tissue around the joints.
Around 20 people attend his sessions each week.
"The big thing I find around here is managing back problems, and you now have this extra space outside of physio or appointments," Mr Schultz said.
"It (yoga) releases all the fascia beneath the skin and older people like that because it relaxes the body.
"I think the way modern life is now we're using our bodies in tension. and this is an opportunity to slow down and relax."
Football's new game plan
A surge of popularity in women's football has been recognised in the Wimmera with a new pathway now available to the region's senior footballers.
For the first time, a senior football side will represent the Wimmera in an organised competition.
The Deakin Uni Female Football League (DUFFL) will run an inaugural seniors competition late next month, with the Horsham Football Netball Club set to compete.
Alicia Drew worked with AFL Western District in Warrnambool to get the seniors league started.
"It was something that had had to be done really, we had a lot of demand for it," she said.
"I'm 32, I've got a football background, always grown up with footy and people my age come up to me saying 'Oh if only I was 15 or 20 years younger'."
Figures released by Sport Australia show the number of women, aged over 15, participating in football once a week had risen from around 31,500 in 2017 to over 59,500 in 2018. Participation at least twice a week rose from 19,000 to over 48,000, an increase of 154 per cent.
Horsham Demons women's football representative Terry Arnel said he had noticed the rise in popularity.
"We had maybe 20 or 30 last year too and we've managed to keep a strong base," he said.
Alicia Drew said it was a challenge getting a seniors league off the ground.
"I'd been working on something like this for six years," she said.
"I was only joking about it the other day that we used to hold training sessions with three girls on a football oval, with no club attachment, and they wouldn't even turn the lights on for us.
"There were a lot of stereotypes and stigma and people thinking that it was just going to be a cost on their club that they couldn't bear.
"There was this social stigma of girls getting hurt. You know, in footy it's brave and gallant if a man gets hurt, but if it's a woman,it's a tragedy.
"For regional areas to have an option like this, it's quite exciting."
Horsham Saints' Kayetlan Harris is one of those flying the flag for women's football in the Wimmera.
"When I was in primary school I never used to hang with the girls, I was with the boys playing footy," she said.
The seniors DUFFL competition will start in late June with teams from Victoria's South-West and Horsham.
Terry Arnel welcomed all interested, regardless of club ties.
"Our mantra is regardless of the jumper you're wearing, it should be looked at as an opportunity to play footy out of the area," he said. "It's titled a Horsham Demons team, but I don't want it to be prohibitive what so ever. Whoever wants to be involved, we are determined to maintain that pathway."
Soccer survives as children's favourite
Soccer is the number one organised team sport in Australia and one of the most popular sports for children, participation data from Sport Australia has revealed.
But, Victoria has the lowest participation figures in the country, only 8.8 per cent, and children in Horsham often neglect the World's game in favour of the town's traditional sports, football and netball.
Noah Talbot, coach of the Horsham and District Soccer Club's junior sides, said he still sees the interest there.
"We've got 15 signed up in the under-12 side and I think 13 maybe in the under-15 team," he said.
"I'd say the interest for soccer is still here and it's definitely growing."
The club's treasurer, Helen Hawken, said it was tough for soccer to compete with the other sports in the town.
"There's 60-odd years of history with the football clubs, so we're never going to take that away, and we're not trying to either," she said.
"It is possible for kids to play soccer alongside these other sports."
Football Federation Victoria appointed engagement officers across the state to aid the development of the sport in regional areas, and recently held an under-12 talent identification program in Hamilton, the closest it's ever been to the Wimmera.
Ballarat City Football Club, a state league side, also approached Horsham and District Soccer Club to assist with the running of training clinics over the school holidays.
"Effectively, this a larger regional club assisting a very small country club due to their passion and commitment to growing the sport within the region," Ms Hawken said.
Helen Hawken said participation in Horsham would continue to grow as long as there was interest.
"The most common reason parents give when bringing their children to soccer is that their child said they just wanted to 'give it a go'."