Last updated: 18 Apr, 2019

Applications are now closed

The VicHealth Innovation Challenge: Physical Activity (The Challenge) will open on 1 April 2019 and close on 18 April 2019. Grants of up to $150,000 each are available to Victorian councils and sporting bodies to test and refine innovative ideas over 18 months

Victorian councils and sporting bodies can apply for a share of $500,000 to increase levels of physical activity in their community. In 2019-20, The Challenge projects will need to address either of the following areas:

More sport for everyone

We are looking for physical activity and sport opportunities that are socially and culturally accessible to people who are likely to experience disadvantage. Disadvantage can make it harder for certain groups to be physically active, due to barriers such as lack of access to facilities, financial constraints, social or cultural norms and discrimination.

Organisations can respond to these barriers by creating new programs which engage this audience, optimising the use of local facilities, improving equipment access or developing more culturally appropriate marketing.

Examples of potentially disadvantaged groups include:

  • People with a low socio-economic status
  • People living in remote, rural and regional areas
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse groups
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • People with disability
  • LGBTI+ community.

More women and girls physically active

We are putting the call out to Victorian local councils to inspire women and girls to be more active.

Councils can create new participation opportunities or make environments where people are physically active more welcoming, comfortable and less intimidating for women and girls (these environments include sport and recreation facilities, pools, parks, and other locations) Consulting with women in your local area to refine the ideas implemented will be an important part of the process.

What do we mean by innovation?

Innovation does not mean you have to invent something completely new; instead we are looking for clever ideas that show how you can change previous processes, products or services to adapt and respond to your community. The different ways you could be innovative include:

  • implementing new ideas
  • developing unique partnerships
  • identifying a new audience/target market in the community to work with
  • improving your existing services

What if I still have questions?

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions

Otherwise please contact us at [email protected]

We will review every email and respond within 2 business days. Also, we’re happy to give you a call if you’d like to leave your phone number.

Key dates View more

VicHealth will accept submissions between Tuesday 26 March 2019 and Thursday 18 April 2019 until 12 noon Eastern Standard Time. 

Provide your initial idea

Opening date

1 April 2019

Closing date

Thursday 18 April 2019, 12 noon

Notifications anticipated by

Monday 29 April 2019

Develop your idea (only shortlisted applicants)

Idea refinement workshop
(mandatory, face-to-face)

Thursday 2 May 2019 – keep this date free!

Proposal submission

Thursday 16 May 2019


Assessment panel

Assessment panel

Wednesday 29 May 2019

Notifications anticipated by

Week of 10 June


Final contracting


June/July 2019

Funding commences

1 July 2019

Public announcements


Assessment View more

There are four key stages during the assessment process:




Stage 1

Video pitch submission

  • Applicants will be asked to submit an idea consisting of an online application form and 90 second video pitch.
  • Videos will be reviewed by a VicHealth shortlisting committee.

If deemed highly promising, the applicant will be invited to participate in stage 2 as a Finalist.

Stage 2

Concept development

  • Finalists will attend an idea refinement workshop at VicHealth to develop their idea further.
  • This will be held on Thursday 2 May – please keep this day free!
  • Finalists will submit a formal proposal capturing a high level theory of change with projected impact.

All those who participate in stage 2 will progress to stage 3.

Stage 3

Assessment Panel

  • A panel of industry experts will assess proposals.
  • This will be held on Wednesday 29 May.

The panel will assess the merits of the proposal and determine how best to allocate the available pool of funding.

Stage 4

Contracting of winners

  • Winners will be notified and asked to confirm their outcomes, objectives, deliverables and associated work plans based on approved budget milestones, outcome, key objectives, and sustainability approach based on approved amounts – to be incorporated into contracts.

VicHealth will announce winners in July 2019.


Learn more about research and trends in sport View more



Innovation Challenge: Sport – Our learnings so far

Since 2014-15, VicHealth has launched six rounds of the Challenge funding, supporting over 30 pilot projects and gaining lots of valuable learnings along the way. Our evaluation so far has identified a number of critical learnings for current and future projects seeking to achieve market success.

Insights for engaging Victorians in physical activity

This research explores the attitudes and barriers to physical activity for Victorians at each life stages, and considers what would motivate them to change their existing behaviours. These stages are youth, young adults, parents, adults without children and retirees.

Picture of participation in organised community sport in Victoria

This research outlines participation rates and trends by age group and geographical area, highlighting key insights and recommendations to inform decision-making and investments by state sporting associations, clubs and associations, policymakers and funders of sport participation and future research. 12 major Victorian state sporting associations are represented – including; Australian football, basketball, bowls, cricket, football (soccer), golf, gymnastics, hockey, netball, sailing, swimming and tennis.


Forward Thinking Series

Vicsport is partnering with VicHealth to present a series of innovative workshops and other development opportunities to build industry capability to respond to the rapidly changing business of community sport and getting more people active.The Forward Thinking Series will bring together leaders from the fields of sport and physical activity to promote a culture of innovation that’s responsive to market insights and embraces new partnerships toward adopting emerging thinkingin response to sport sector challenges.

Market segmentation for sport participation study

This needs-based consumer centric market segmentation model for Australian sports participants (players) and non-sports participants (non-players) offers insights into the needs and wants of the Australian consumer as it relates to sport and physical activity participation. It identifies a significant number of Australians who view and engage with sport quite differently, particularly in terms of how they want to play sport.

The Future of Australian Sport Report

This report identifies a range of influencing factors including a complex mix of generational, demographic and cultural change. The report highlights six sports megatrends that may redefine the sport sector over the next 30 years.

Previous winning ideas View more

VicHealth has run several Innovation Challenges over recent years.

Check out our full list of Innovation Challenge: Sport winners from 2015 through to 2018.