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In a bid to get more people active, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) has launched its 2012/2013 Active Club Grants funding round, which assists with the purchase of essential sporting equipment, injury prevention and management equipment, portable shade and volunteer training.
A total of $1 million in grants of up to $2,500 each are available via VicHealth to local sporting clubs, regional sporting leagues and associations and local active recreation clubs across Victoria.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said this year’s grants focus on increasing participation of people from Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities, people with disabilities and those who live in rural or low socio-economic communities.
They are also aimed at getting people aged over 60 and young people aged five to 17-years-old – who traditionally had low rates of sports participation – more active.
Grants for defibrillators to respond to on-field emergencies are also offered, after VicHealth handed out funds to 64 clubs around the state for this equipment for the first time earlier this year.
“The grants aim to make it easier for clubs to fund items or activities that help them to improve safety and to reach out to new participants,” Ms Rechter said.
“We are keen to encourage the involvement of people who are currently inactive, or who face barriers to taking part in sport.
“Regular physical activity not only protects against many illnesses, it also makes us mentally healthy, alert and resilient against the stresses of modern life.
“More than 9,320 sporting codes and clubs across Victoria have received Active Club Grants over the 22 years VicHealth has provided this support. Over this period, more than 1 million club members have been able to access safer and better equipped clubs with more trained volunteers,” Ms Rechter added.
Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Hon. Hugh Delahunty endorsed the grants. Mr Delahunty said physical inactivity costs the health system at least $400 million each year.
“In Victoria, half of all adults do not get enough exercise. As well as the physical benefits, research also shows that sport builds community pride and loyalty and offers people the chance to get involved, providing them with a positive sense of self-worth.
“Evidence suggests that habits are established early in life, and physically active children are more likely to mature into physically active adults.”
Eligible sport and recreation organisations are invited to apply for this grant online at www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/activeclub or to post completed applications to:
VicHealth, PO Box 154, Carlton, VIC, 3053.
The funding round closes 4pm Thursday 6 December, 2012.