Aug – Nov 2014 Last updated: 12 Oct, 2016

The 2014 VicHealth Innovation Challenge: Physical Activity called for new ideas to get more Victorians physically active. We challenged you to take sport and physical activity in a new direction.

More than 100 video pitches were submitted and a pool of $400,000 in start-up funding was awarded to seven ideas in November 2014.

The creativity and quality of submissions immediately affirmed how innovative Victorians are and just how hard choosing the winners would be.

About the Challenge

Getting communities more active is in the best interests of all Victorians. Across Australia, people are leading less active lives, with less than a third of Australians getting enough physical activity.

It is estimated that the increased risks of chronic disease and poor mental health associated with inactivity is costing the Australian economy $13.8 billion each year.1

While many of us play traditional club sport to keep active, it’s not the answer for everybody. Some people are put off by inflexible schedules, cliquey cultures, high costs and limited opportunities for beginners and veterans.

Recent trends show that participation is shifting. People are gravitating towards individual and fitness-based sports. Lifestyle, adventure and alternative sports are on the increase. People are choosing to participate in activities such as jogging, aerobics, cycling, group fitness training, fun runs and even military obstacle courses!

VicHealth’s Innovation Challenge: Physical Activity was about kick-starting ideas that made getting active fun for everyone. The successful projects help provide more flexible, social and less-structured opportunities for Victorians of all ages to get active.

Woman exercising in a group

Back 2 School Fitness

Healthy Communities Australia

Back 2 School Fitness is group training for parents and friends and is the first initiative of Healthy Communities Australia. Healthy Communities Australia is a social business with a mission to create healthy role models for Australia’s future. 

Back 2 School Fitness is hosted at Primary Schools across Melbourne and combines fitness with fundraising.

Healthy Communities Australia received $20,000 to support Back 2 School Fitness.

Watch the submission video

Read an update on Back 2 School Fitness

Pulseraiser presentation


Malvern Harriers Running Club & London Agency

There is a nationwide trend towards individual exercise instead of organised groups. We all could run more, but where is the incentive? Pulseraiser is a charity giving fitness app that provides a carrot to exercise more and do some good as well as improving your own health. 

It is particularly effective at making the less active, more active and join running clubs. Pulseraiser integrates with mobile running tracking platforms e.g. Runkeeper. Every time you go for a run, some money is donated to a charity you care, about by your employer. Pulseraiser: Every run counts.

Malvern Harriers Running Club & London Agency received $60,000 for Pulseraiser.

Watch the submission video



Netball Victoria

At Netball Victoria, we exist to enrich Victorian communities through the sport of netball. It is estimated that over 2 million Victorians have participated in netball at some stage of their life. CardioNET brings together netball and group fitness in an environment which is fun, safe, and supportive and which encourages people to get up off the couch and re-engaged in physical activity. 

The CardioNET workout can be built around the available time and fitness level of the participant, no matter their age, gender or cultural background. CardioNET is here and we are ready to go!

Netball Victoria received $70,000 to support CardioNET.

Watch the submission video

Go Explore It project presentation

Go Explore It

Bendigo Orienteers Incorporated

The idea provides people with a new alternative to explore their immediate environment by incorporating game-based and educational elements with the treasure hunt concept. This will engage a diverse demographic and challenge them to become more physically active by walking, running or riding. Individual or group participants will use a map to locate marked features and register them using a smart phone app or through a web site to accrue points. 

The activity will run over an extended period of 2 months or more. New features will be added during the period to promote ongoing engagement by participants.

Bendigo Orienteers Incorporated received $40,000 to fund the Go Explore It idea. 

Watch the submission video

Playstreets presentation

Play Streets

City of Melbourne & CoDesign Studio

Two in three Victorians get little to no exercise, so we need a solution that transcends barriers like income, fitness, culture and interest in sport. A hit in the UK and US, Play Streets allow neighbourhoods to close streets to non-local traffic for a day of free, unstructured activity like street cricket and child’s play. 

Play Street trials in Bristol, England were found to significantly increase kids’ activity levels as well as community cohesion. CoDesign will make this easy, working with local government authorities to design Play Street toolkits for communities, and simple managed systems for councils.

City of Melbourne & CoDesign Studio received $80,000 to use towards Play Streets.

Watch the submission video

Girls playing soccer

Fit Football

Football Federation Victoria

Soccer, or football, is the true world game embraced by people of all ages, genders and cultures here in Victoria. Now, people who don’t have the time or commitment to play competition football can get involved and enjoy the benefits with Fit Football group fitness sessions. 

Fit Football can be done anywhere, anytime, with any number of people but there’s no commitment and no subs. You don’t even need football skills! It’s way more fun than a workout and, whatever your fitness level, you’ll see improvement in no time. Fit Football really is the best way to ‘Have a Ball Getting Fit’.

Football Federation Australia received $70,000 to support Fit Football. 

Kids learning how to skateboard

Learn Right Skate School

Victorian Skateboarding Association

The Learn Right Skate School is about providing access and an orientation to Skateboarding, Skate Parks and various programs and program providers.  VSA’s Learn Right Skate School will provide a formal induction to skateboarding and skate parks. 

Our aim is to reduce the barriers to participation by minimising the risks of injury and providing a formal introduction to skate park use.  We do this by creating a network between schools (PE teachers), skate parks, skate coaches, council managed and private skate parks and program providers.

Victorian Skateboarding Association received $60,000 to support the Learn Right Skate School program.

Find out more

1 Medibank 2008, The cost of physical inactivity, Medibank Private, Sydney.

2014 Innovation Challenge: Physical Activity