Healthy and Welcoming Sport
The best sporting organisations strive to improve their members’ health and create welcoming settings that encourage everyone to join in.
We know this following two VicHealth programs — the Healthy Sporting Environments Program and the State Sporting Association Participation Program — that were set up to help sporting organisations to become more healthy and welcoming. VicHealth partnered with State Sport Associations, Regional Sports Assemblies and sporting organisations to deliver the programs between 2011 and 2015.
Whilst these programs have concluded, VicHealth continues to invest in, and support sport organisations to create welcoming and healthy environments. This webpage is VicHealth and Vicsport’s shared commitment to providing best-practice resources from these programs for the community sport sector to continue to use into the future.
The materials (fact sheets, templates, guidelines, websites) used for these programs are now available to other sporting organisations that want to become more healthy and welcoming. The materials have been tried and tested and are informed by feedback and evaluation to ensure their relevance. They can be used by any sport and individual organisations can decide at what pace to use them.
Healthy and welcoming sports bring in more players, volunteers, spectators and community members. They also have a better chance of attracting sponsors. This all helps these sporting organisations to become stronger, and make a positive impact on the playing field and within their community. The good news is that even small changes can make a big difference to how healthy and welcoming a sporting organisation can be.
Resources to help your sporting organisation become more healthy and welcoming are presented here under the following headings in a form that is practical and useable for sporting organisations to work with:
Who can use these resources?
The resources contained in the following sections can be used by any sporting organisation seeking to develop a healthy and welcoming environment. While the resources were initially developed for State Sport Associations and Regional Sport Assemblies, they have been adapted and updated for the broader sporting industry and written in simple, easy to understand language.
How do I use these resources?
There is no specific process that your organisation must follow when using these resources. You can choose to use one resource on it’s own, address one specific topic such as Healthy Eating, or put a plan in place to move through a number of sections over a longer period of time. It’s a matter of working through a process that best fits your organisation at the time.
Becoming more healthy and welcoming
Once your organisation has decided to become more healthy and welcoming, it’s important to remember that changing behaviours and culture is a long-term process.
But the effort is worthwhile. Most of the sporting organisations involved in the VicHealth programs that experienced a positive change managed to keep it going. Remember, small steps can make a big impact. Your members and community will appreciate your work to make your organisation better for members and stronger for the future.