New funding to get regional Victorians active

Sports Central is one of nine regional sport assemblies sharing in $4.5million in new VicHealth funding to support more regional Victorians to get active.

The three-year funding will help to make sport and physical activity more accessible and attractive to regional teenagers and women inspired to get active by VicHealth’s This Girl Can – Victoria campaign.

Sports Central will support local sporting clubs and associations to plan and deliver a range of activities, including the Ararat Activ8 program, Ballarat Cricket Association’s female participation programs and Ballarat District Golf’s junior development initiatives.

Michael Flynn (Executive Officer) says the funding will help them create more opportunities for Central Highlands residents to become more active and improve their health.

“This is about making grassroots sports more accessible and appealing to communities across the Central Highlands, so everyone can get involved in the sports they love,” Mr Flynn said.

“We want everyone to get active and embrace a healthy lifestyle, regardless of their age, gender or ability.”

“Over the last three years we have been able to support the planning and delivery of 27 new programs across the Central Highlands to get people more active through VicHealth’s investment in the Regional Sport Program.”

“The success of these programs would not have been possible without consulting and partnering with a range of organisations, including sporting clubs and associations, State Sporting Associations, local councils, health services and community groups.  We look forward to again engaging broadly with the community, as the Regional Sport Program continues to evolve and grow. ”

The funds will also be used to make sporting clubs more inclusive for women and girls, by identifying quick, simple and cost-effective changes like scheduling women and girls’ matches on the main grounds and promoting women’s sport on social media.

In addition to providing more opportunities for women, girls and young people to get active, Sports Central will work to improve participation rates of other community groups, including those in lower socio-economic townships and suburbs, along with introducing more social and modified sport programs for adults.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the program aimed to address declining rates of physical activity and the associated impact on the health of Victorians.

“Regional Sports Assemblies have such fantastic knowledge of their local areas so we’re proud to work with them to meet the physical activity needs of regional Victoria,” Ms Rechter said.

“Less than a third of us do enough physical activity in a week to benefit our physical health and mental wellbeing,” she said.

“This funding is about making sport and physical activity fun, accessible and local for less active regional Victorians.”

“We know sporting clubs want to get more people in their community involved in their sport, which is why we’re working with them to make their clubs more accessible to everyone – regardless of their gender, age, ability, cultural background or what they look like.”

For more information about the Regional Sport Program, click here.