19 Jun, 2011 Last updated: 14 Nov, 2014

Thirty State Sporting Associations will share in $10.2 million from the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) over the next three years in a bid to make sports in Victoria more welcoming places.

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Thirty State Sporting Associations will share in $10.2 million from the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) over the next three years in a bid to make sports in Victoria more welcoming places.

The VicHealth State Sporting Association Participation Program 2011-2014 aims to increase the participation of priority populations through creating sporting environments that are safe, accessible, inclusive and equitable, with a particular focus on women and girls, people with a disability, Indigenous Australians and people from culturally diverse communities.

Beyond simply encouraging more people to play, the new grants aim to bring about sustainable organisational and cultural change at a state and member level.

VicHealth’s Acting CEO Associate Professor John Fitzgerald said the State Sporting Associations should be congratulated for taking initiative to make sport attractive for all members of society, in particular for groups within the community who are currently underrepresented in sport.

“Over the past 50 years, Australian culture has shifted from an active nation to one with a lifestyle that is mostly inactive. Physical activity can prevent heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis, some cancers and obesity, as well as providing protection from common mental health problems anxiety and depression,” A/Prof Fitzgerald said.

“As well as guarding against chronic illness, physical activity strengthens relationships and contributes to healthy communities. It’s important to nurture safe and supportive sports that are welcoming of all.”

The Victorian State Sporting Associations that will work to become safer, accessible, inclusive and equitable are: 

Women: Yachting Victoria, CycleSport Victoria, Victorian Water Polo Inc, Hockey Victoria Inc., Bowls Victoria, Motorcycling Victoria, Golf Victoria Inc., Athletics Victoria Inc, BMX Victoria, Squash Vic, Indoor Sports Victoria, Pool Victoria Inc., Touch Football Australia – Victorian Branch, Lacrosse Victoria, Diving Victoria. 

Indigenous: Canoeing Victoria, Victorian Rugby League Inc, Victorian Rugby Union Inc. 

Culturally diverse communities: Tennis Victoria, Netball Victoria, Cricket Victoria, Life Saving Victoria, Volleyball Victoria Inc., Badminton Victoria, Victorian Softball Association. 

People with disabilities: Swimming Victoria Inc, vicTenpins, Calisthenics Victoria Inc, Blind Sports Victoria, Gymnastics Victoria

Find out more about inclusive sports and the SSAP grants at http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/Programs-and-Projects/Physical-Activity.aspx