24 Apr, 2015 Last updated: 24 Apr, 2015

VicHealth and AFL Victoria have today announced a new partnership that will see VicHealth's H30 Challenge becoming the official hydration partner for the 2015 Peter Jackson VFL season.

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The H30 Challenge encourages people to make a simple 30-day pledge to replace every sugary drink they would normally drink, with water.

Sugary drinks include sugar-sweetened soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, ready-to-drink iced tea, flavoured water and cordial.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of sugars in the Australian diet and high intake of these sugary drinks are associated with poorer health outcomes.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter congratulated the league for taking a leadership role in the fight against obesity through the H30 Challenge.

"We’re excited to be the official hydration partner for the VFL this season. Close connections with local communities and a focus on health and fitness make the league a great match for the H30 Challenge.

"We’re sure that AFL Victoria will inspire club members and footy fans to make the pledge and replace sugary drinks with water for 30 days. We’ve seen people who’ve taken the challenge substantially reduce their sugary drinks intake or cut them completely from their diet," Ms Rechter added.

As part of the partnership with AFL Victoria, a variety of events will be held at footy games to encourage fans to sign up for VicHealth’s H30 Challenge.

AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper said footy fans would be encouraged to make the switch to water through a number of initiatives including the distribution of free reusable bottles at selected matches.

"Health and wellbeing is a key focus for footballers at all levels," he said.

"It is pleasing we are able to partner with VicHealth to educate and promote to our football network, across VFL standalone clubs and the TAC Cup, about hydration and making the switch to water," Mr Reaper added.

In particular, six VFL clubs will be heavily involved in the challenge and promote the benefits of cutting out sugary drinks. These six clubs are:

  • Coburg Lions
  • North Ballarat Roosters
  • Northern Blues
  • Port Melbourne Boroughs
  • Werribee Tigers
  • Williamstown Seagulls

Participants can join the H30 Challenge at any time convenient for them, for a 30-day period.

How to sign up for the H30 Challenge

  1. Sign up at www.h30challenge.com.au
  2. Choose a start date that is convenient for you
  3. Switch sugary drinks for water for 30 days and reap the rewards
  4. You’ll receive regular emails to keep you motivated along the way!

VicHealth is committed to tackling the tough issues to address the physical and mental wellbeing of Victorians, including rising obesity levels. The H30 Challenge is essential to reducing Victorians’ intake of excess kilojoules through sugary drinks, while the Walk to School campaign is a great initiative to get children moving, and the TeamUp app is a social community which connects people to a wide range of physical activities within their local community.
Media Contact: Ruby Green, Communications Officer, 03 9667 1347 or 0435 761 732 or email [email protected] .