05 Feb, 2019 Last updated: 27 Feb, 2019

Health promotion foundation VicHealth will provide around half a million dollars in new funding to Victorian sports clubs in an effort to get more people across the state active and involved with their local club.

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VicHealth is encouraging clubs to apply for the latest round of its Active Club Grants, which open today, with funding of up to $3,000 or up to $10,000 available for community sport clubs to get more women and girls playing sport and increase ‘social’ or modified sport opportunities for people of all ages, genders and abilities.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said the funding would help sports clubs inspire more locals to get active.

“Grassroots sports clubs give people of all ages the chance to get active and feel socially connected,” Minister Mikakos said.

“Playing sport – whether competitive or for fun – is a great way to boost physical and mental health. These grants will empower sports clubs to get even more Victorians involved.”

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the foundation has supported community sporting clubs for over 30 years and has helped get thousands more Victorians active.

“Our research shows most Victorians are not fitting the recommended amount of physical activity into their week,” Ms Rechter said.

“Over the years, we’ve seen a fantastic variety of sports benefiting from Active Club Grants who are creating more opportunities for women and girls as well as people who don’t usually participate in organised sport.

“We’re thrilled to be able to again be able to support local clubs who do such great work in their community.”

Ms Rechter said with less than a third of Victorians doing enough physical activity to benefit their health, it was critical that sporting clubs were supported to offer more opportunities to get people moving.

“Most of us don’t do enough physical activity to benefit our health. In particular, women and girls are much less active than men,” she said.

“While there’s been a huge growth in women’s sport, joining a sports club remains a daunting task for many women. A lack of opportunities, time and self-confidence are some of the reasons for this, which means many women and girls find it hard to get involved.

“Building on the success of our This Girl Can – Victoria campaign, we’re encouraging community sports clubs to offer new programs, teams and activities that make sport more welcoming for women and girls.”

Clubs are encouraged to apply for Active Club Grants funding through the VicHealth website before 4pm on Friday 8 March 2019. This year the application process has been made simpler and easier for community sporting clubs.

Clubs applying for Active Club Grants funding can indicate if they would like to be considered for an additional $2,000 grant to promote This Girl Can – Victoria to encourage women in their local community to get active.

For further information and to apply visit www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/activeclub.

Media Contact:

Rachel Murphy, VicHealth Senior Media Advisor on 03 9667 1319, 0435 761 732 or  [email protected]