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Entries open for 2021 Active Australia Innovation Challenge
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Entries open for 2021 Active Australia Innovation Challenge

Media Release - 15 March 2021

The Heart Foundation is calling for entries in the 2021 Active Australia Innovation Challenge, which will award grants valued at $10,000 each for innovative community-based projects designed to get Aussies moving.

Up to 20 grants are on offer this year, which is twice as many as in previous challenges.

Heart Foundation Director of Active Living, Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton, said physical inactivity is a key risk factor for heart disease, which continues to be the single leading cause of death in Australia.

In 2019, 18,244 Australians died from coronary heart disease, or about one every 29 minutes. It accounted for more than 10 per cent of all deaths that year.

“Yet fewer than half of all adult Australians meet national physical activity guidelines, which means they are not active enough for good heart health,” Professor Shilton said.

“Statistics like these make it more important than ever for Australians to find ways to get involved in a more active lifestyle.

“For a lot of Aussies, there’s a perception that ‘physical activity’ means joining a gym, jogging around their neighbourhood or playing organised sport.

“These are all legitimate forms of physical activity, but there are so many other fun and innovative ways for people of all fitness levels to be active in their communities.

“That’s why we run the Active Australia Innovation Challenge. It provides an opportunity for tertiary institutions, schools, councils, community groups and other organisations to tell us their great ideas for encouraging communities to get more active and live a healthier lifestyle.”

Past winners have included surf lessons for children with autism; a “silent disco” for aged-care residents; and cultural dance classes for people with impaired vision.

This is the fourth annual Active Australia Innovation Challenge.

“We want to build on the success of the first three challenges and look forward to hearing all the bright ideas from communities for new and interesting ways to boost physical activity in their local areas,” Professor Shilton said.

“We are thrilled to be able to have a higher number of grants available this year, so we encourage eligible organisations to start workshopping their ideas and preparing an entry. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!”

Entries will be open for six weeks from today (15 March 2021). Shortlisted applicants will have the chance to refine and pitch their projects before a panel of experts decides on up to 20 winners. They will each receive a grant of $10,000 to turn their project idea into a reality.

The Active Australia Innovation Challenge is part of the Healthy Heart Initiative, which is funded by the Australian Government. Visit the challenge page for full terms and conditions.

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