VicHealth is supporting local governments to improve access to water and healthy drink options in their local sport and recreation facilities.
The Water in Sport initiative 2018-2020 is an investment under the VicHealth Healthy Eating Strategy 2017-19 that aims to improve the availability and promotion of water instead of sugary drinks in sports and recreation facilities. This initiative builds on the learning's and outcomes from previous VicHealth investments to influence water as the beverage of choice in sporting environments.
Making water the drink of choice, instead of sugary drinks is a significant first step to implementing the broader Victorian Government’s Healthy Choices guidelines, a set of guidelines to improve the supply and promotion of healthy foods and drinks in key settings including Sports and Recreation Centres.
The eight funded councils partnering with VicHealth to reduce sugary drink consumption are:
- East Gippsland
- Greater Bendigo
- Greater Shepparton
- Northern Grampians
- Yarra Ranges
During 2018-2020, councils will:
- Increase the promotion and supply of water and reduce the availability and supply of sugary drinks in multiple community sports and recreation facilities
- Develop or strengthen Council policies and practices which enable longer-term changes to increase the promotion, access and supply of water across council-owned sport and recreation facilities.
To support project implementation, the Healthy Eating Advisory Service is providing program delivery support to each council and Deakin University is overseeing evaluation.
An update on key outcomes of the Water in Sports initiative will be provided in September 2019.