27 May, 2015 Last updated: 27 May, 2015

Hundreds of sports and active recreation clubs across Victoria will benefit from the latest round of VicHealth's 2014-15 Active Club Grants program.

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VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said that second round of the grants would award more than $690,000 worth of grants to 296 successful clubs across Victoria to tackle two major barriers that prevent people from taking part in sport and active recreation – cost and injury.

"These grants, of up to $3,000 each, aim to make clubs safer and more accessible by funding essential equipment like bats, portable goals, uniforms and balls, and items to prevent or manage injuries, such as safety gear and defibrillator machines. Of the successful clubs, 160 are in regional and rural Victoria and will receive a share of $356,000, while 136 clubs in the greater Melbourne area will receive a share of $338,000."

To create greater opportunities for clubs to access Active Club Grants, VicHealth ran two rounds of funding in 2014-15, which saw a combined total of 566 clubs across Victoria share in over $1.3 million in grants. 

"Sports and active recreation clubs are a terrific way to get involved in the community, meet new people and keep active for good health. Previous rounds have shown us that these grants encourage people to try new acitivites, support them to join their local club or continue playing their favourite sport," Ms Rechter added.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said the Active Club Grants program helped more Victorians become involved in local clubs. 

"These grants are fantastic because they encourage more sports and recreation activity, and provide the real sense of community that comes from being part of a local club.

"Whether it's through new equipment or safety gear, it’s great to see so many clubs across Victoria benefit from these grants."

VicHealth is committed to tackling the tough issues – in particular the rising obesity levels in Victoria. The free TeamUp app connects adults and groups to a wide range of physical activities within their local community, the Walk to School campaign encourages schoolchildren to get active by walking or riding to school, and the H30 Challenge is essential to reducing Victorians' intake of excess kilojoules through sugary drinks.
For more information on VicHealth's Active Club Grants, or to see the full list of local clubs that have received a grant in round two, click here

Media Contact: Claudine Ledwidge-O’Reilly, Acting Senior Media Advisor, 03 9667 1319 or 0435 761 732 or email hwalsh@vichealth.vic.gov.au.