Last updated: 17 Jan, 2017

Funding is now closed.

Does your sport and recreation facility want to improve access to and promotion of healthy drinks?

VicHealth is supporting local governments to make it easier for participants, coaches, spectators and volunteers to choose water as the drink of choice in canteens/retail food outlets in local sport and active recreation facilities.   

Through this grant round, up to 20 local governments will receive funds to trial ‘nudges’ in canteen/retail food outlets which sell packaged sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks.  The ‘nudges’ can involve changing the placement, price, product or promotion of packaged drinks to promote water as the drink of choice in local-government-owned sport and recreation facilities.

The focus for this grant is to promote water as the drink of choice, however Councils can also trial a ‘nudge’ to promote healthy food choices which are classified ‘Green’ according to the Victorian Government’s Healthy choices: food and drinks classification guide (DHHS, 2015).

What is a nudge?

A ‘nudge’ is designed to encourage consumers to make healthier choices, by changing the placement, product, pricing or promotion of healthier food and drinks in preference to unhealthy options.  For example, sugary ‘red’ drinks are not displayed in drinks’ fridges

Local Governments should apply if:

  • you want to make it easier for local communities to choose water as the drink of choice
  • you have support to make water the drink of choice from a local sport or recreation club or facility such as a council-run aquatic centre
  • you can gather baseline data before starting the ‘nudge’ trial, implement the ‘nudge’ and evaluate outcomes within 3 months of receiving the funds from VicHealth

What is on offer?

What we will fund

Councils can receive up to $5,000 to plan, trial and evaluate a ‘nudge’ in a canteen/retail food outlet which sells packaged SSBs such as soft drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks within a sport and recreation facility.

Local councils with more than one eligible sport and recreation facility can apply for more than one grant up to $5,000 each. Each grant must be submitted individually and will be evaluated separately.

The funding is provided for data collection, implementation expenses and staffing costs incurred to collect baseline data, implement the ‘nudge’ and evaluation, for example:

  • Production of artwork for collateral such as posters, stickers, flyers etc
  • Reimbursement of staff hours, including data collection, implementation and evaluation of the ‘nudge’
Who can apply? View more

Only Victorian LGAs are eligible to apply for this grant.

To be eligible to apply for a grant, a Council must:

  • Demonstrate awareness of your local areas with the highest rates of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, as per the Victorian Population Health Survey 
  • be a Council with at least one sport or recreation facility with the following:
    • an average seasonal attendance of over 50 members per week over the period Feb to April 2017
    • frequent use by juniors for sport activities, competitions or programs
    • a canteen/retail food outlet or similar that sells packaged drinks
  • be based in Victoria and conduct activities in Victoria
  • have acquitted previous grants awarded to it by VicHealth (to the satisfaction of VicHealth)
Water as the drink of choice View more

Councils can make it easier for local communities to choose healthy food and drinks in a range of settings including sporting environments. This can be a part of local strategies and actions to maximise the health and wellbeing of residents identified through local Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing plans. Many sport and recreation facilities currently offer drinks with added sugar through kiosks, canteens, vending machines or bars. Drinking water instead of sugary drinks is not only better for health, but important for hydration before, during and after playing sport and being active.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend to drink plenty of water and limit sugar-sweetened drinks such as 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 contributes to poor health, in particular the risk of weight gain, some chronic diseases and increased risk of tooth decay.

Making drinking water more accessible, visible and available within local government-owned sport and recreation facilities can help to increase water consumption and reduce intake of SSBs.

What we will not fund View more

VicHealth will not fund the following:

  • Purchase of packaged drinks
  • Fridges
  • Ice machines
  • Vending machines
  • Subsidies for price discounts on drinks
  • Drinking water fountains
  • Councils should apply if you are looking to increase the availability and promotion water as the drink of choice in your community sport and recreation facilities.
Roles and responsibilies View more

VicHealth roles and responsibilities

VicHealth will provide Councils with:

  • Resources to undertake a ‘nudge’ to promote water as the drink of choice in a canteen/retail food outlet in at least one sport and recreation facility. Resources include information on: 
    • choosing a ‘nudge’ – providing four options:
      • promotion - promote water as the drink of choice
      • placement – unhealthy ‘red’ drinks off display
      • price - make water the cheapest option
      • placement - water more prominent display nudge
    • ‘nudge’ data collection process (pre and post nudge data required)
    • ‘nudge’ implementation guide, providing a step by step guide
    • post-evaluation, outlining assessment and reporting of the impact of the ‘nudge’
  • consistent branding and artwork design for Councils to promote the VicHealth brand on or around the canteen/retail food outlet.

Local government roles and responsibilities

Councils will be the lead agencies for this grant program. However, VicHealth requires a Council to develop or maintain partnerships with local sporting clubs who are based within the selected sport or recreation facility to apply through this program. Through the application, Councils must demonstrate support from one or more resident sport or recreation clubs if applicable.

If successful, the Council is required to

  • deliver their grant objectives by 28 April, 2017
  • agree to undertake the ‘nudge’ within 3 months of receiving funds
  • agree to evaluate the ‘nudge’ for at least 5 weeks baseline and 5 weeks implementation
  • agree to provide baseline data and nudge evaluation data (post implementation) which includes:
    • Total number of packaged drinks sold per drinks category
    • Total drinks sales
    • Photo of packaged drinks on display at canteen/retail food outlet
    • Total attendance at the sport and recreation facility
  • confirm bank account details for electronic funds transfer
  • comply with reporting requirements including a final report and financial acquittal as per VicHealth contract requirements
Assessment View more

Stages of assessment

Stage 1: Screening process to determine eligibility and review completeness of application.

Stage 2: All eligible applications will be reviewed and shortlisted.

Stage 3: Shortlisted applications will be reviewed by a panel of experts with sport, physical activity and healthy eating expertise.

Stage 4: Councils will be advised by email of the outcome of their application.


Assessment criteria




  • How does promoting water as the drink of choice fit with Council’s priorities?
  • How many people will potentially benefit from the promotion of water as the drink of choice? (e.g. members, players, volunteers, spectators, general public, other user groups)


  • Where will the ‘nudge’ trial be undertaken? Note: it must be undertaken within a Council-owned sport or active recreation facility.



  • Have you undertaken an assessment to understand the most suitable ‘nudge’ to promote water as the drink of choice in the canteen/retail food outlet?
  • How will you support the collection of baseline data and during the ‘nudge’ trial to evaluate the nudge?



  • When will the nudge’ be undertaken? Please note the baseline data prior to the ‘nudge’ (4 weeks) and ‘nudge’ implementation (4 weeks) must be completed by 28 April 2017.



  • Can you demonstrate support and agreement from a resident sport or active recreation club?
  • Are there other community groups that use the facility that will benefit? (e.g. other clubs that use the canteen/retail food outlet during the period of the ‘nudge’ trial)
  • 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 Council area, based on the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA).
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



Open Grant Round

28 November 2016

Close Grant Round

13 January 2017


Successful and unsuccessful Councils will be notified by email.

More information View more

Contact VicHealth

Please contact us at [email protected] or (03) 9667 1308. We review every email and voicemail and respond as soon as possible.

Where to seek advice

  • 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.