Last updated: 26 Apr, 2017

Applications are now closed.

Does your community sport club want to improve access to drinking water?

VicHealth is excited to make it easier for spectators, participants and volunteers to access free drinking water in community sport clubs and facilities.  

Through this grant round, between to 20 and 40 community sport clubs will receive funds to purchase a water bottle refill station with a drinking fountain.

Water in community sport

Sports clubs can provide a culture and environment that supports healthy eating to its players and the wider community. Many sports clubs currently offer drinks with added sugar through canteens, vending machines or bars. Drinking water, instead of sugary drinks, is not only better for our health, but important for hydration during and after playing sport.

Making free drinking water more accessible, visible and available within the club can ensure water is the drink of choice.

The Australian dietary guidelines recommend to drink plenty of water and limit sugar-sweetened drinks, including soft drinks, sports drinks, flavoured water, cordials, energy drinks, and some fruit juices. Sugary drinks are the largest source of added sugars in the Australian diet, and high consumption directly contributes to our health, in particular the risk of weight gain, some chronic diseases and increased risk of tooth decay.

What's on offer?

Your club can receive up to $5,000 to purchase a water bottle refill station with a drinking fountain, including delivery costs. Within this $5,000, you may request a maximum of $500 for marketing, promotional or other publicity activities to help promote your water station to the community.

Who can apply? View more
  • You should apply if you are looking to increase the availability of free drinking water in your community sport club.
  • VicHealth will accept joint applications from clubs that use the same venue. One club must nominate as the lead club responsible for the application and receipt of funds.
  • VicHealth will accept applications from a community sport reserve committee of management, providing they have agreement from clubs and a bank account. 
  • Clubs that have been previously successful in receiving an Active Club Grant are eligible to apply.

Who isn’t eligible to apply?

  • Clubs operating in school facilities
  • Clubs operating in facilities that are not club-owned or local council owned/managed
  • Schools, churches, community support groups or health services
  • Local governments
  • Professional sporting bodies
  • Elite sporting teams
  • Regional Sports Assemblies
  • State Sporting Associations
  • Sports where the intention is to deliberately injure or inflict harm on another individual or use the head as a deliberate target
  • Active recreation clubs/organisations

To be eligible to apply for a grant, an applicant must:

  • be based in:
    • one of the 10 metropolitan local government areas [Table 1 below] with the highest rates of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption as per the Victorian Population Health Survey; or 
    • one of the 15 rural/regional local government areas [Table 2 below] with the highest rates of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, as per the Victorian Population Health Survey.
  • have over 200 members (metropolitan club) or 150 members (rural or regional club) – this can be achieved through clubs individually or multiple clubs that use the same venue.
  • regularly offer junior sport activities, competitions or programs
  • be based in a club-owned facility or local council owned/managed facility.

Aboriginal community controlled/led sport clubs are particularly encouraged to apply.

Table 1: Metropolitan areas

Clubs are eligible from the following metropolitan council areas

Local Government website


Banyule City Council


Cardinia Shire Council


City of Casey


Darebin City Council


Frankston City Council


Hume City Council


Maroondah City Council


City of Melton


City of Whittlesea


Wyndham City

Table 2: Rural and regional focus areas

Clubs are eligible from the following rural and regional council areas

Local Government website

Regional Sports Assembly  website


Benalla Rural City

Valley Sport


Buloke Shire Council

Mallee Sports Assembly


Shire of Campaspe

Sports Focus

Central Goldfields

Central Goldfields Shire Council

Sports Focus


Colac-Otway Shire Council

Leisure Networks

East Gippsland

East Gippsland Shire Council


Golden Plains

Golden Plains Shire Council

Sports Central


Loddon Shire Council

Sports Focus


Mansfield Shire Council

Valley Sport


Moira Shire Council

Valley Sport


Murrindindi Shire Council

Valley Sport

Northern Grampians

Northern Grampians

Wimmera RSA


Rural City of Wangaratta

Sport North East


Wellington Shire Council



Yarriambiack Shire Council

Wimmera RSA

Roles and responsibilities View more

VicHealth roles and responsibilities

VicHealth will:

  • fund the cost of the water bottle refill station with a drinking fountain and delivery costs
  • provide clubs with resources to promote the VicHealth H30 Challenge – an initiative supporting people to switch from sugary drinks to water for 30 days and reap the rewards
  • provide consistent branding and artwork for clubs to promote the VicHealth brand on or around the fountain

Club roles and responsibilities

If successful, your club is required to:

  • agree to install the fountain within 6 months of receiving funds
  • agree to install a water flow meter gauge to the water fountain – VicHealth requires flow meters to be installed on all water bottle refill station with a drinking fountain funded by VicHealth
  • agree to report the volume of water to VicHealth as required (e.g. annually for a period of time, to be determined by program evaluators)
  • work with local council and other partners to cover all costs and liability for installation, maintenance and cleaning costs
  • confirm bank account details for electronic funds transfer
  • comply with reporting requirements as outlined in these guidelines
  • provide photos of proposed install location and quotes from suppliers for unit purchase – these quotes must include a flow meter
  • provide photos of the actual install location, after installation is complete

Local government roles and responsibilities

Local councils have a role in supporting sport clubs to increase participation and provide healthy and safe facilities. Councils also develop Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing plans to set the local strategy and direction for enabling people to achieve maximum health and wellbeing. 

Community sporting clubs will be the lead agencies for this grant program. However, VicHealth requires clubs to develop partnerships with your local council to apply through this program. Through the application, clubs must submit a letter support from the local council endorsing the project and outlining the partnership or any contribution, including:

  • the need for the VicHealth grant, including relevant demographic profile data and other localised research
  • how the application currently does, or will in the future, integrate with council programs, projects, strategies and plans
  • any additional details associated with the grant application
  • commitment from LGA to fund and/or provide oversight support for required capital works (depending on nature of tenancy agreements with clubs)
  • any additional details associated with the fountain installation

While there is no requirement for a council to co-invest, any committed co-investment will be viewed favourably as VicHealth believes this initiative aligns strongly with a number of council objectives. If your council or other partners are planning to co-invest then this intention should be included in your application.

VicHealth and community sport View more

For over 27 years VicHealth has offered small grants to community sport clubs. During this time VicHealth has reduced participation costs, provided clubs with essential equipment, improved injury prevention practices, supported clubs to be SunSmart, improved skills of volunteers and increased access to defibrillators.

Currently, VicHealth is supporting clubs to:

This grant is one of 4 current VicHealth grants available to increase the supply and access of drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Current grant opportunities as listed below with the applicant underlined are:

  1. Local government for VicHealth’s H30 Challenge local marketing grants to promote water as the drink of choice instead of SSBs
  2. Local government support for local government-owned recreation and sporting facilities to prioritise the sale and promotion of water instead of SSBs
  3. State Sporting Associations to deliver ‘nudges’ to promote water as the drink of choice instead of SSBs

For further information about these grants check out

The VicHealth Water Initiative View more

These grants are part of the VicHealth Water Initiative - an integrated program of work with the goal of getting more Victorians choosing water instead of drinks with added sugar.

Through this initiative, VicHealth has:

Victorian Government Initiatives

VicHealth is a partner of the Victorian Healthy Eating Enterprise (VHEE) – a coordinated platform led by the Department of Health & Human Services. The VHEE provides a platform for collaboration between government, business, industry, education and health professionals with the shared endeavour to improve healthy eating.

Both the VHEE and VicHealth’s work in community sport complement the following Victorian Government initiatives:

  • Healthy Food Charter - a guide for all those; working in partnership with the Victorian Government to improve the health of Victorians through food.
  • Healthy choices: policy guidelines for sport and recreation centres can help you improve the availability and promotion of healthier foods and drinks. Included in these guidelines is the recommendation that clean and safe tap water is always available free of charge (for example, from water bubblers and/or food outlets) in high traffic areas. These guidelines are not specifically designed for sports clubs, but clubs may find some information useful to help them make healthy changes.
  • Victorian Healthy Eating Advisory Service (HEAS) Victorian Healthy Eating Advisory Service (HEAS) funded by the Victorian Government, and delivered by Nutrition Australia Victorian Division. HEAS aims to help organisations provide and promote healthier foods and drinks to improve the health of all Victorians through online learning, menu assessment tools and information and advice about putting Healthy choices: food and drink classification guide into practice.
  • The Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-2019 which outlines the government’s priorities to improve the health and wellbeing of Victorians. Healthier eating active living is identified as one of six key areas for action.
Assessment View more

Selection criteria

VicHealth will only be funding a small number of clubs who best match the selection criteria and program objectives.

Selection criteria



  • Why does your club require a water bottle refill station with a drinking fountain?
  • How many people will potentially benefit from the provision of the water fountain? (e.g. members, players, volunteers, spectators, general public, other user groups)


  • When will the water fountain or refill station be installed? Note: it must be installed within six months of receiving funds


  • Have you conducted an assessment to understand the most suitable location of the water fountain for maximum access and use? (see Provision of drinking water fountains in public areas guidelines.)
  • How will your club cover costs associated with installation e.g. qualified plumber, surveyor, cost and type of water fountain?


  • Which water bottle refill station with a drinking fountain does your club intend to install and what is its cost? (see Provision of drinking water fountains in public areas guidelines for a non-exhaustive list of available fountains)
  • When will the water fountain or refill station be installed? Note: it must be installed within six months of receiving funds


  • Can you demonstrate support and agreement from the local council?
  • Are there other community clubs that use the facility that will benefit?
  • Do you have partnerships with other partners that will support your activities? (e.g. State Sporting Association, Regional Sports Assembly, community health service)

Health equity

  • When assessing your grant application, VicHealth will take into account the social and economic disadvantage in your club’s local area, based on the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA).
What we will not fund View more

Your club must agree to cover all costs for installation, plumbing, maintenance and cleaning. VicHealth will not fund the following:

  • Installation
  • Plumbing
  • Utility supply
  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Capital works to mount water fountain
  • Costs associated with planning
  • Vending machines
  • Water trailers
  • Fridges
Payment and Acquittal View more
If your club is successful, VicHealth will provide you with a Recipient Created Tax Invoice (RCTI) in relation to payment of funding. This is a VicHealth generated invoice. If your funding application is approved, your club is not required to raise a separate invoice – VicHealth will email you an RCTI with the remittance advice for tax purposes.
Important dates View more
 Date Activity

Opening date

28 November 2016

Closing date

28 April 2017

Application assessment

Applications will be assessed at regular intervals throughout the grant open period until funds are exhausted.

Notifications anticipated by

Successful and unsuccessful clubs will be notified regularly throughout this timeframe. Notifications cease June 2017. 

Funding commences

Funding commences from when successful clubs confirm acceptance of the grant.

More information View more

For questions regarding the program, guidelines or the Terms and Conditions please email [email protected] or call (03) 9667 1308. We review every email and voicemail and respond as soon as possible.

  • Local Government: Local councils play an important role in providing sport facilities and services for the community and creating environments for communities that support improved health and wellbeing. Each council is required to prepare a four-year municipal public health and wellbeing plan.
  • State Sport Associations:  Your relevant State Sporting Association may be able to provide advice on how structure your application and how it can benefit your community.
  • Regional Sports Assemblies: If you are in regional Victoria, sport development staff from Regional Sports Assemblies can also provide advice on how to structure your application. VicHealth is working with all Regional Sports Assemblies to strengthen policy and practices around making water the beverage of choice in regional sporting clubs, leagues and facilities through the Regional Sport Program.
  • Vicsport: Vicsport is the peak body for sport and active recreation in Victoria.