Open Last updated: 27 Feb, 2017

Submit your idea by 3pm Friday 7 April 2017

VicHealth is looking for clever ideas to get more Victorians physically active. We are challenging you to take community sport in a new direction.

What's the challenge?

Less than a third of us get enough physical activity every day. At VicHealth, we know how valuable sport is to get us moving toward better health and wellbeing. 

This is why VicHealth is providing funding through the Innovation Challenge: Sport to get more Victorians off the couch and playing more sport more often, with a focus on those with low physical activity levels. 

VicHealth is helping sporting bodies in partnership with change-makers and innovators to test new ideas, concepts and innovations that tackle obstacles often blocking people from playing sport.  This time around there are three key focus areas for the Challenge:

1. More flexible and fun sport

It can be tricky fitting sport into our busy lifestyles and not everyone wants to compete at a club. Can sports become more fun and flexible for people?  For example: casual sport-based fitness activities for the time poor or more fun, less competitive versions of sport for people looking to socialise with friends.

2. More places to play

Sometimes people want to play but have nowhere to go.  Can you find new places to play sport or change the way sporting venues are used in the community?  For example: developing modified sport offerings for parks or beaches as well as improving access to existing sport venues via technological solutions or creative use of existing space to get more people playing.

3. More sport for everyone 

It’s often our groups experiencing higher levels of disadvantage who find themselves sitting on the sidelines. Can sport become an easy option for them to get them playing? For example: engaging new partners to create more welcoming environments at clubs or taking sport to community groups to improve opportunities to play.

Who can get involved?

We are inviting sporting bodies from across the sport sector to rise to the Challenge.

Examples of organisations eligible for funding include; national sporting organisations, state sporting associations, regional sporting assemblies, local sporting clubs/associations, elite sporting teams; as well as Victorian local councils.

VicHealth will also accept submissions from a sporting body working in partnership with a change-maker. You're a change-maker if you like challenging the status quo and taking action when you see an opportunity emerge. You might be a social innovator, a community organisation, a private provider or a digital expert.

Please note that we only accept submissions from sporting bodies directly. However we will accept submissions from a sporting body working in partnership with a change-maker.

How much money is available?

The most promising ideas will share in a total funding pool of $500,000 to test new ideas and make a real impact.

Funding requests can be made for any amount. The typical funding grant is anywhere between $50,000 to $150,000 over 18 months but amounts vary with each project and context.

When do I submit my video pitch?

VicHealth will accept submissions between Monday 27 February 2017 to Friday 7 April 2017 until 3pm Eastern Standard Time. 

Our learnings so far

Since 2014-15, VicHealth has launched four rounds of Challenge funding, supporting 23 pilot projects and gaining lots of valuable insights along the way.

Our evaluations so far have identified a number of critical learnings to help current and future projects seeking to achieve market success.

Click to here to find out more. 

Assessment View more

There are four key stages for applicants.




Stage 1

Call for video pitches

  • 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 particpate in stage 2 as a Finalist.

Stage 2

Workshop and proposal submission

  • Finalists will attend an ideation workshop at VicHealth to develop their idea into a business model
  • Finalists will submit a formal proposal consisting of a high-level work plan with indicative costings.
  • All those who participate in stage 2 will progress to stage 3.

Stage 3

Assessment Panel interview

  • Finalists will pitch their concept and field questions from the assessment panel.
  • 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 work plan milestones, outcome, key objectives, and sustainability approach based on approved amounts – to be incorporated into contracts.
  • VicHealth will announce winners in June 2017.

What criteria will my idea be judged on?

The Challenge will apply the following assessment criteria to all proposals throughout the entire process.

Criteria 1: Alignment

The proposal demonstrates how strategy alignment will be promoted through the sport sector, to ensure plans are supported by key partners - for example: NSOs, SSAs, RSAs, clubs and other organisations as appropriate - with an agreed project leader.

We would expect to see:

  • A consultation plan with key sport partners and identified aligned plans. For example: identifying cross-over between current participation plans.

We would like to see:

  • Evidence of consultation and collaborative plans. For example: A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support partnership approaches.

Even better still:

  • Co-investment plans between key partners to enhance funding and support achievement of shared outcomes.

Criteria 2: Innovation

The proposal demonstrates the application of innovation (new or creative thinking) to take community sport in a new direction.  This may mean testing new ideas, methods or partnerships.

We would expect to see:

  • A clear description of why the application is innovative.
  • An indication of the organisational capability required to undertake the project and subsequent capability gaps that need addressing through funding.

We would like to see:

  • Evidence the innovation application is responsive to market demands – for example: uses target audience insights and customer-centred strategy.

Even better still:

  • Clearly articulate how the innovation application will accelerate levels of impact over projected timeframes. For example: results in more inactive/somewhat active Victorians moving more, in an expedited timeframe.

Criteria 3: Impact

The proposal demonstrates how inactive and somewhat active Victorians will be targeted and engaged in more sport more often, as well as providing the following projections:

  • participant numbers
  • number of participation opportunities created

We would expect to see:

  • A rationale and/or evidence to support projected impact as well as a realistic cost estimation of the key deliverables involved.
We would like to see:
  • A business model canvas that clearly articulates target markets, key partners, key activities, resources, value propositions, customer relationships, communication channels, cost structures (include lean and dream models) and revenue streams.

Even better still:

  • A project sustainability and scalability outline to maintain and/or broaden impact post-funding.

Key dates View more

When do I submit my video pitch?

VicHealth will accept submissions between Monday 27 February 2017 and Friday 7 April 2017 until 3pm Eastern Standard Time. 



Call for video pitches opens

Monday 27 February 2017

Call for video pitches closes

3pm Friday 7 April 2017

Notification of finalists

Friday 14 April 2017

Ideation workshop

Friday 21 April 2017

Formal proposal submission closes 

Wednesday 3 May 2017

Assessment Panel meeting

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Notification of winners

June 2017

Announcement of winners

June 2017 onwards

Important documents View more

Before applying, please ensure you have thoroughly read and understood the following documents:

Submit your idea View more

Click the Apply button below to submit your application.

Apply now

Alongside an online application form, we invite you to provide a 90-second video pitch as your initial submission. It's easy- just talk to a camera. You can even record yourself on your smart phone!

Please note that VicHealth will be assessing the quality of the idea, not the quality of the video footage. We do not expect you to develop professional quality videos. Make it cheap and cheerful.

90 seconds is not a long time, so you will need to make it tight and get straight to the point. You've got to be able to communicate your project quickly and clearly. Think of VicHealth as a potential investor. A clear, passionate pitch can get you a kick-start. A poor one can mean you’re forgotten.

Check out some video pitches from 2014

When scripting your pitch consider the overall goal of the Challenge, the three focus areas (must address one only) and assessment criteria, in particular:

Challenge goal

  • How will your idea get inactive or somewhat active Victorians playing more sport more often?

Focus areas (must address one only)

  • How will your idea enable sport to become more fun and flexible for people?
  • How will your idea activate new places to play sport or change how sporting venues are used?
  • How will your idea support people experiencing higher levels of disadvantage to get off the sidelines?

Assessment criteria

  • How will your idea support sport sector alignment?
  • Why would you call your idea innovative? …how is your idea different from other approaches?
  • How are you utilising consumer insights in a clever and creative way?
  • Do you have a well-developed, realistic plan to execute your idea and create a sustainable/scalable model?
  • What is the single, clear, compelling message that states why your idea is worth funding?

Learn more about research and trends in sport View more
 Link Information
Innovation Challenge: Sport – Our learnings so far Since 2014-15, VicHealth has launched four rounds of the Challenge funding, supporting 23 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 Victorian 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.   11 major Victorian state sporting associations are represented – including; Australian football, basketball, bowls, cricket, football (soccer), golf, gymnastics, hockey, netball, sailing 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 get more people active through sport. 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 thinking in response to sport sector challenges. 
Play. Sport. Australia.
Play.Sport.Australia. is the Australian Sport Commission’s (ASC) participation game plan and sets out a big picture vision for boosting participation in sport in the years ahead. Play.Sport.Australia. paints a compelling picture of how sport has changed in the last decade and plots the opportunities the Australian sports sector must embrace and maximise in the years ahead. 
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

Check out our full list of Innovation Challenge: Sport winners from 2015-16 and 2016-17. 

What if I still have questions?

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

Otherwise please contact us at