Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Geelong sports clubs lead the nation in health standards

Geelong sports clubs lead the nation in health standards
April 1, 2014

Sporting clubs in Geelong have made sweeping changes to become healthier places as part of an Australian-first VicHealth trial.

The 73 clubs in the wider Barwon region that took part in VicHealth’s $2 million Healthy Sporting Environments demonstration project in 2012 and 2013, delivered by Leisure Networks.

Clubs made changes to their facilities and culture to encourage thousands of members and players across the region to make healthier choices when it came to smoking, alcohol, choosing food, UV-exposure, injury prevention and creating an environment that is welcoming to women, Aboriginal Victorians and people from diverse backgrounds.

An evaluation of the program, by La Trobe University, shows the most significant change was in members’ behaviour around sun protection and inclusive environments, but the most challenging areas were reducing alcohol use and healthy eating.

VicHealth Chief Executive Jerril Rechter said that the clubs had shown overwhelming support for the project, with 93% agreeing their club was now a better place as a result of being involved.

Rechter stated “Geelong region residents should feel very proud that they’re leading the state and indeed Australia, in promoting health through their beloved sports clubs.

“Around one in four Australians aged older than 15 are involved in organised sport or physical recreation and many more are involved as volunteers, spectators, supporters and sponsors, so the potential to reach communities with health information is significant.

“We’ve learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t through this project and are grateful for the enthusiasm and commitment of the clubs involved to make these changes and give us feedback throughout the process.

“This program has been so well received, VicHealth has provided a further $3.3 million for 250 rural Victorian clubs to join the program. We are thrilled with the results and look forward to seeing this success replicated across Victoria.

“Another win of the program is that the club members say they think their club is a better place as a result of making healthy changes. Regardless of whether they’re taking part in VicHealth’s Healthy Sporting Environments project or not, community sport clubs can look at how they operate and make small changes to their club that will make a big difference to the community.”

Results of the Geelong Healthy Sporting Environments demonstration project:

• 88% of clubs said their food offering was healthier as a result of the project, with canteens now offering at least 30% ‘green’ food choices rose from 35% to more than half (57%).

• Clubs said they would offer healthier food if there is demand.

• 70% of clubs introduced eight injury prevention strategies (up from 12%).

• 87% found it easy to improve UV protection, with temporary shade and sunscreen the most popular strategies. No clubs reported not doing anything about improving sun protection.

• Almost all of the clubs introduced new policies to become more welcoming and inclusive places.

• 76% agreed that a league-wide or statewide ruling restricting tobacco use on club premises would help to reduce smoking around the club.

• Measures to reduce alcohol use were a challenge. Replacing full-strength beer with mid-strength was not considered viable and raising the price of alcohol may lead to clubs becoming more dependent on alcohol revenue – however, many clubs already had Good Sports accreditation and did not need sweeping changes to their alcohol policies.

Click here to download a copy of the Health Sporting Environments Evaluation.




Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Events / Sport / Ticketing


Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology



The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Pico Play

Pico Play is a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment that deliver extraordinary and memorable experiences to millions…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Tourism



Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology


Summit Fitness

Summit Fitness Equipment is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness



Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks



AUSTRALIAN MADE. BUILT NOT BOUGHT. AlphaFit is a 100% Australian owned family company manufacturing gear specifically for the strength and conditioning, functional fitness and high-performance…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business