Industry, Organisation, Forward Thinking, News

VicHealth Innovation Challenge: Sport

VicHealth is looking for clever ideas to get more Victorians physically active. We are challenging you to take community sport in a new direction.

What's the challenge?

Less than a third of us get enough physical activity every day. At VicHealth, we know how valuable sport is to get us moving toward better health and wellbeing.

This is why VicHealth is providing funding through the Innovation Challenge: Sport to get more Victorians off the couch and playing more sport more often, with a focus on those with low physical activity levels.

VicHealth is helping sporting bodies in partnership with change-makers and innovators to test new ideas, concepts and innovations that tackle obstacles often blocking people from playing sport. This time around there are three key focus areas for the Challenge:

1. More flexible and fun sport

It can be tricky fitting sport into our busy lifestyles and not everyone wants to compete at a club. Can sports become more fun and flexible for people? For example: casual sport-based fitness activities for the time poor or more fun, less competitive versions of sport for people looking to socialise with friends.

2. More places to play

Sometimes people want to play but have nowhere to go. Can you find new places to play sport or change the way sporting venues are used in the community? For example: developing modified sport offerings for parks or beaches as well as improving access to existing sport venues via technological solutions or creative use of existing space to get more people playing.

3. More sport for everyone

It’s often our groups experiencing higher levels of disadvantage who find themselves sitting on the sidelines. Can sport become an easy option for them to get them playing? For example: engaging new partners to create more welcoming environments at clubs or taking sport to community groups to improve opportunities to play.

Who should get involved?

We are inviting sporting bodies from across the sport sector to rise to the Challenge.

Examples of sporting bodies may include local sporting clubs, state/national sporting organisations and regional sporting assemblies.

We also welcome collaborative partnerships between sporting bodies and change-makers who can bring ideas to life. You're a change-maker if you like challenging the status quo and taking action when you see an opportunity emerge. You might be a social innovator, a community organisation, a private provider or a digital expert.

Please note that we only accept submissions from sporting bodies directly. However we will accept submissions from a sporting body working in partnership with a change-maker.

How much money is available?

The most promising ideas will share in a total funding pool of $500,000 to test new ideas and make a real impact.

Funding requests can be made for any amount. The typical funding grant is anywhere between $30,000 to $100,000 but it varies with each project and context.

When do I submit my video pitch?

VicHealth will accept submissions between Monday 5 September 2016 and Friday 21 October 2016 until 3pm Eastern Standard Time.




Stage 1

Call for video pitches

  • Applicants will be asked to submit an idea consisting of an online application form and 90 second video pitch
  • Videos will be reviewed by a VicHealth shortlisting committee.
  • If deemed highly promising, the applicant will be invited to submit a formal proposal.
  • VicHealth will also provide feedback to applicants who progress to Stage 2 to help them shape their proposals.

Stage 2

Invitation to submit a proposal

  • Applicants will be asked to submit a formal proposal consisting of a high-level work plan and a business model canvas with indicative costings.
  • The VicHealth shortlisting committee will then use this additional information to decide on a shortlist of finalists.

Stage 3

Assessment Panel interview

  • Finalists will pitch their concept and field questions from the assessment panel.
  • The panel will assess the merits of the proposal and determine how best to allocate the pool of funding.

Stage 4

Contracting of winners

  • Winners will be notified and asked to finalise their work plan milestones, outcome, key objectives, and sustainability approach based on approved amounts – to be incorporated into contracts.
  • VicHealth will announce winners in January 2017

When do I submit my video pitch?

VicHealth will accept submissions between Monday 5 September 2016 and Friday 21 October 2016 until 3pm Eastern Standard Time.



Call for video pitches opens

Monday 5 September 2016

Call for video pitches closes

3pm Friday 21 October 2016

Cut-off date for formal proposals to be submitted

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Shortlisting of finalists

Week of 24 October 2016

Assessment Panel meeting

Week of 5 December 2016

Announcement of successful projects

January 2017 onwards

Alongside an online application form, we invite you to provide a 90-second video pitch as your initial submission. It's easy- just talk to a camera. You can even record yourself on your smart phone!

Please note that VicHealth will be assessing the quality of the idea, not the quality of the video footage. We do not expect you to develop professional quality videos. Make it cheap and cheerful.

90 seconds is not a long time, so you will need to make it tight and get straight to the point. You've got to be able to communicate your project quickly and clearly. Think of VicHealth as a potential investor. A clear, passionate pitch can get you a kick-start. A poor one can mean you’re forgotten.

Check out some video pitches from 2014

When scripting your pitch consider the overall goal of the Challenge, the three focus areas (must address one only) and assessment criteria, in particular:

Challenge goal

  • How will your idea get inactive or somewhat active Victorians playing more sport more often?

Focus areas (must address one only)

  • How will your idea enable sport to become more fun and flexible for people?
  • How will your idea activate new places to play sport or change how sporting venues are used?
  • How will your idea support people experiencing higher levels of disadvantage to get off the sidelines?

Assessment criteria

  • How will your idea support sport sector alignment?
  • Why would you call your idea innovative? …how is your idea different from other approaches?
  • How are you utilising consumer insights in a clever and creative way?
  • Do you have a well-developed, realistic plan to execute your idea and create a sustainable/scalable model?
  • What is the single, clear, compelling message that states why your idea is worth funding?
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Check out Vicsport's Forward Thinking Series

Vicsport is partnering with VicHealth to present a series of innovative workshops and other development opportunities to build industry capability to respond to the rapidly changing business of community sport and get more people active through sport.

The Forward Thinking Series will bring together leaders from the fields of sport and physical activity to promote a culture of innovation that’s responsive to market insights and embraces new partnerships toward adopting emerging thinking in response to sport sector challenges.

Read the Australian Sports Commissions’ new participation game plan: Play. Sport. Australia.

Play.Sport.Australia. is the Australian Sport Commission’s (ASC) participation game plan and sets out a big picture vision for boosting participation in sport in the years ahead. Play.Sport.Australia. paints a compelling picture of how sport has changed in the last decade and plots the opportunities the Australian sports sector must embrace and maximise in the years ahead.

See the Australian Sports Commission’s Market segmentation for sport participation study

This needs-based consumer centric market segmentation model for Australian sports participants (players) and non-sports participants (non-players) offers insights into the needs and wants of the Australian consumer as it relates to sport and physical activity participation. It identifies a significant number of Australians who view and engage with sport quite differently, particularly in terms of how they want to play sport.

Check out the megatrends influencing Australian sport in The Future of Australian Sport Report

The report identifies a range of influencing factors including a complex mix of generational, demographic and cultural change. The report highlights six sports megatrends that may redefine the sport sector over the next 30 years.

Alignment in practice

Stride & Strike - Tenpin Bowling (Challenge 2015-16: Round 2)

Tenpin Bowling Victoria (TBV) & Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA) are currently joint-testing ‘Stride & Strike’ at six Victorian Bowling Centres with a view to national roll-out after project testing. The initiative will test an incentive scheme, whereby bowlers will receive a discount, based on the distance walked to the Centre (verified by an app on the participant’s smartphone). TBV & TBA confirmed their partnership arrangements and submitted their funding proposal together. They also contracted a TBA Participation Leader to develop ‘Stride & Strike’ with a view to working collaboratively with TBV to engage local bowling centres as part of concept testing. TBA also increased the level of investment beyond the initial VicHealth grant to support improved organisational capacity to achieve shared outcomes at national, state and community levels.

Innovation in practice

Pop up squash – Squash & Racquetball Victoria (Challenge 2015-16: Round 1)

This project seeks to test a new participation model that converts vacant retail spaces in shopping centres into ‘pop-up squash’ courts. So far the idea has been trialed at Eastland Shopping Centre under a 3 week lease arrangement and has engaged over 1200 active participants with 13% returning to visit with friends. Participation in the Challenge has allowed Squash & Racquetball Victoria to increase sport exposure with new markets in order to gain stronger learnings - specifically; understanding consumer behaviour and how to develop social/recreational offerings for participants that translate into ongoing sport engagement.

Impact in practice

Walking Football – Melbourne City Football Club (Challenge 2015-16: Round 1)

Since kick-starting the project in November 2015, MCFC have piloted ‘Walking Football’ at 14 locations targeting seniors, predominantly with multi-cultural backgrounds. They have had strong success engaging local councils, community health organisations and aged care services to create 137 new participation opportunities and generate 342 active participants. MCFC are currently developing a training and program package for purchase to support sustainable and scalable outcomes post-funding, as well as exploring opportunities within the health sector to fund ‘Walking Football’ through Council-led programs.

What if I still have questions?

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

Please contact us at Each week we will review emails and post responses to commonly asked questions on our website to ensure that all interested applicants have access to the same helpful information.

Credit VicHealth - for the original page please visit

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