Industry, Organisation

VICHEALTH’S PHYSICAL ACTIVITY INNOVATION CHALLENGE: AN EXCITING ADVENTURE AHEAD FOR CHALLENGE WINNERS


“The successful projects will help provide more flexible, social and less structured opportunities for Victorians of all ages to get active.” -Jerril Rechter, VicHealth CEO.

The inaugural VicHealth Physical Activity Innovation Challenge has awarded seven innovations a share in $400,000. This funding will help the successful organisation’s to kick start their ideas to encourage more Victorians to get active through physical activity and sport.

The aim of the Challenge is to enlist sporting organisations to come up with inventive ideas to help get Victorian’s active by offering new and less structured ways for people of any age to improve their activity and fitness levels.

VicHealth CEO, Jerril Rechter, said, “Exercise is absolutely crucial to cutting the risk of chronic illness and obesity, yet less than half of Australian adults meet the daily requirements. This challenge was about kick-starting ideas that made getting active a fun activity for everyone.”

Over 100 video pitches were received, with seven of the most innovative ideas receiving funding to help make their ideas a reality. Each of the successful initiatives was selected based on its potential impact and prospect of attracting new participants.

The seven successful ideas were¹:

  • Netball Victoria – CardioNET: Modified group fitness training targeted at re-engaging people who are no longer involved in netball.
  • Victorian Skateboarding Association - Learn Right Skate School: Provides skate education in schools and then a safe transition into community skate parks.
  • Football Federation Victoria – Fit Football: Modified group fitness training encouraging parents/guardians to participate during their kids’ sport.
  • Bendigo Orienteers Incorporated - Go Explore It: Modification of the treasure hunt concept to encourage people to explore their local neighbourhood.
  • City of Melbourne & CoDesign Studio - Play Streets: Enables the community to temporarily close local streets and engage in physical activity.
  • Healthy Communities Australia - Back 2 School Fitness: Social enterprise that links group fitness training for parents and friends with school fundraising.
  • Malvern Harriers Running Club & London Agency – Pulseraiser: A charity-giving fitness app incentivising daily physical activity through charity fundraising.

The Innovation Challenge responds to people’s changing preferences how they want to get active through sport and physical activity. Many adults are failing to meet recommendations to participate in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics 20% of Australians are inactive and 36% of adult Australians are insufficiently active².

Recent trends suggest that Victorians are seeking more flexible ways to participate in sport and recreation. There has been a significant increase in participation in individual and fitness based sports, with fitness based activities second only to walking in terms of overall participants.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that only a quarter of the Australian population (27%) participate in some form of organised sport and physical recreation while almost double that (53%) take part in non-organised activity³. Supporting the notion that there needs to be greater opportunities available for Victorians to improve their physical activity levels.

These statistics highlight that providing innovative ways to get more Victorians active is vital. The inaugural challenge was designed to challenge sporting organisations to identify innovative ways keep all Victorians active, regardless of their fitness level, age or sporting ability.

Now that the successful projects have been announced the individual organisations will work on bringing their innovations to life and in doing so provide the industry with ideas of new ways to get more Victorian’s active through sport.

For further information on VicHealth’s Physical Activity Innovation Challenge view the media release or visit the winners’ video page.


¹ Seven ideas get funding to kick-start a new path for Victorian Sport. VicHealth Media Release 11 November, 2014.
² Insufficiently active Australians are not completely inactive but they failed to meet the requirement of at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) Perspectives on Sport, 2013. Catalogue number  4156.0.55.001, Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.
³ Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2011-12.  Catalogue numbe 4177.0. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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