Last updated: 24 Jul, 2019

VicHealth's Innovation Challenge has continued in 2019 to fund new ideas to get more Victorians active.

This year, we challenged you to lead sport and physical activity in a new direction to address the following areas;

  • more women and girls physically active
  • more sport for everyone – focusing on Victorians who experience higher levels of disadvantage.

Pleasingly, you answered the call!

Congratulations to the following winners who have shared in start-up funding to make their ideas become a reality.

 Winning ideas funded in July 2019


Pedal Power – Leisure Networks

A bike education program for kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to encourage physical activity and social connection, delivered in partnership with Cycling Victoria and the Geelong Cycling Club.

Pedal Power will encourage kids with ASD to learn bike safety through an education program, to help them gain confidence and become active within their community. The program will also nurture a social/friendship network for the families, where they can lend each other support and share ideas.

She Can Ride – Yarra Ranges Shire Council

She Can Ride encourages girls aged 7-17 to become involved in cycling. The program will help build confidence, encourage new friendships and enable girls to foster a lifelong love of cycling.

The program will use female instructor and local role models to create a supportive and welcoming environment for young girls to help them develop as mountain bikers and as people. 

Casey Disability Sport Hub – Disability Sport and Recreation

The Casey Disability Sport Hub will be a dedicated resource, housed in a singular leisure facility, creating a place where people with disability (PWD), administrators and the broader community can come together and participate in a wide range of sporting and leisure activities, driving physical activity and life changing outcomes for a group who need it most.

This will be complemented by an information and education hub for the delivery of training amongst local providers of sport and recreation programs to ultimately create a welcoming and skilled environment that supports greater participation by PWD.

The Casey Disability Sport Hub will primarily be delivered at the YMCA Victoria run Casey Stadium indoor leisure facility in Cranbourne East.

City CALD Carer’s Wellbeing Program – City in the Community

Carers are a special community sub group that have often been neglected and overlooked from a recreation and leisure perspective. This project is aimed at providing opportunities to improve carer’s health and wellbeing through physical activity. It focuses on those from a CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) background who often face further challenges and barriers to good health and physical activity.



Planning grants

VicHealth has also supported four projects with a planning grant to further explore their concepts:

Greater Geelong City Council: More Your Way #HowDoYouMove

Aimed at exploring physical activity environments and addressing the fear of judgement barrier experienced by women, Greater Geelong City Council will conduct market research with local women to design their ideal physical activity experience and environment.


Moorabool Shire Council: More Female Friendly Rec & Leisure

Aimed at exploring physical activity environments and addressing the fear of judgement barrier experienced by women, Moorabool Shire Council will conduct market research with local women to design their ideal physical activity experience and environment.


Football Victoria: LGBTI+ Inclusion in Football

Football Victoria will conduct community consultation to gain insights and understand existing barriers and enablers within the structure of football in Victoria. Football Victoria's vision is to become the catalyst for change for LGBTI+ people in sport and be industry leaders for LGBTI+ inclusion in sport.


Brimbank City Council: Fusion – An Inclusive Brimbank Movement

Brimbank City Council and Mahana Culture will be working in partnership to engage Brimbank's South Sudanese and Pasifika communities to co-design an intergenerational physical activity program.



 Winning ideas funded in July 2018

Paddle Victoria – Kayak Paddle Ball
A new program for teenagers looking for something outside of mainstream sport. Kayak Paddle Ball offers fast, fun and social water sport games for 14 to 17-year old’s, while also providing a space to hang out. 

Lacrosse Victoria – Battlecrosse 
A social, non-competitive program for university students who have never tried Lacrosse before. Battlecrosse is focused on developing skills and social engagement. Lacrosse Victoria will partner with Victorian universities to offer the program. 

Australian Sailing Limited – Sail Pass
Sail Pass uses new technology to provide a flexible, low-cost way for Victorians to try sailing for the first time.  Aimed at making sailing more accessible, Sail Pass creates the opportunity for less active Victorians to try sailing on a casual basis. 

Winning ideas funded in July 2017

 AFL in partnership with AFL Victoria – AFL Blind
A new adapted AFL program for blind and vision-impaired Victorians supported by Blind Sports Victoria.
To be trialled in metropolitan Melbourne, the program will create more opportunities for our blind and vision-impaired community to get active and enjoy playing AFL.
AFL in partnership with St Kilda Football club – SaintsPlay
An approach to develop more inclusive environments at NAB AFL Auskick Centres to improve experiences amongst autistic children and their families. Delivered by St Kilda Football Club in the Bayside area, the program will work closely with community – including; Special Development Schools, community clubs and local families.

Leisure Networks in partnership with Wyndham City Council - Healthy Happy Hours
An approach to empower more local community groups within Wyndham City Council to get active at sporting facilities during off-peak times. Three council facilities will be unlocked during week days to provide a range of new social sporting opportunities to cater for community needs.

Little Athletics Victoria in partnership with Athletics Australia - Fast Track
A new community-based athletics program that caters for children with disabilities; from culturally diverse backgrounds; and from remote areas.  Delivered by accredited coaches at convenient community location, the program is a short format that focuses on maximum participation for children involved.

Touch Football Victoria – Families in Touch  
A new touch football community program that supports Victorian families to stay together and play together. Delivered by touch football clubs, the program is designed to allow both parents and children to enjoy the benefits of the sport in a fun, friendly and safe environment.

Triathlon Victoria - TRIstopme
A fun and inclusive school-based triathlon program for 13-17 year old girls. Delivered by teachers, the program seeks to empower girls, particularly those less active, to get involved and give triathlon a go.


Winning ideas funded in February 2017

 AFL Victoria - Female Indigenous Program 
An initiative for young indigenous women aged 16-20 years old about providing more opportunities to play AFL through carnivals, competitions and camps across metropolitan and regional Victoria. The program will also offer training and education for these women to develop their communication and decision making skills, resilience and a strong sense of cultural identity. 

Bushwalking Victoria’s Escaping Your Comfort Zone
Body positive hiking for plus size women.  This program aims to improve the self-esteem of plus-size women through a specialised hiking program, combined with a supportive friendship group.

Cricket Victoria in partnership with Proud2Play – Proud Cricket
An education program for Victorian Cricket Clubs to foster a more supportive culture for LGBTQI young people and increase their participation in cricket.

Collingwood Basketball Association – Stay, Play, Lead and Succeed  
A mentoring program for young people, predominantly of South Sudanese backgrounds, to keep them engaged in club basketball through a leadership development approach.

Sport Central in partnership with Golf Victoria – Ballarat District FlexiGolf Pass
A new initiative amongst Ballarat District Golf Clubs to engage local families and local golfers in a more convenient and affordable manner, with shorter game formats and casual memberships.

 Winning ideas funded in May 2016 

 Gymnastics Victoria – Team Gym 
A recreational gymnastics program for young people and teenagers who have never tried gymnastics.  It also gives gymnasts who no longer fit traditional programs a way to maintain involvement.

Cricket Victoria – Indoor 4’s 
Aims to boost cricket participation through an informal, fun and flexible program played between teams of four, for less than half an hour, at any time that suits the participants.

City of Greater Geelong, with GMHBA 
A flexible, fun 10-week web-based workplace team challenge that encourages moving more and sitting less in workplaces, at home and in the community.

Tenpin Bowling Victoria, with Tenpin Bowling Australia – Strike and Stride 
This program aims to get more Victorians active by providing Tenpin Bowling discounts when people walk to the bowling alley.

Aquatics and Recreation Victoria, with YMCA Victoria – Before school Energy Active Sports Tribe
A before school group activity program for 10-to-12-year-old kids, run out of leisure centres. Run on school term basis, the program includes a healthy breakfast and transport to school.

 Winning ideas funded in November 2015

 Melbourne City Football Club – City Strikers Walking Football 
City Strikers is a modified walking football program (no running or contact) that encourages older people to become more physically and socially active.  The program also trains Young Leaders from multicultural backgrounds to run the program in community.

Squash & Racquetball Victoria – Pop Up Squash 
Aims to introduce and re-engage people with squash by transforming empty retail space into temporary street squash courts.

BMX Victoria – Pumped for BMX
Aims to utilise under-programmed BMX facilities within local councils to deliver a new 6 week program for local primary school children.

Waterpolo Victoria – Bumpa Ball
Sees participants playing modified games of water polo whilst floating in blow-up tubes. 

Basketball Victoria – Stride Basketball
Aims to engage sedentary office workers during office hours via a 'Stride Corporate Cup' at the State Basketball Centre.

Softball Victoria, with Blue Earth – Active Families Playing Together
A program run within playgroups to allow parents to play softball 7s whilst children engage in games, before everyone plays together in a fun, mixed age format.

How do I find out more about these projects?

Easy, just email us at [email protected].