How we’re keeping Ballarat active

We want to keep everyone moving and active at all stages of life. Here you can find out what we’re doing to help keep Ballarat active.

Image of person walking dog around Lake Wendouree

Active Ballarat action plan

Physical activity and open space play a vital role for our community. It adds significantly to the economic and social wellbeing of residents, visitors and tourists alike. 

Active Ballarat will make sure the City of Ballarat and surrounding areas are able to meet the diverse sport and recreation needs of our community. This strategy is an update to the 2014 Recreation Strategy and will help Council with future planning, provision, management and priorities for a range of sustainable sport and recreation facilities and pursuits. 

The strategy covers:

  • structured and unstructured sport; 
  • infrastructure and services; 
  • identified community needs, and;
  • opportunities to contribute to the overall liveability, prosperity, sustainability and accountability of the City of Ballarat.

One of the key aims of the strategy is that it aligns with the state government’s Active Victoria plan, which aims to strengthen the sport and recreation across the state. 

The Active Ballarat Strategy was developed through a review of existing documents and literature, a situational analysis, community consultation, and strategic workshops with City of Ballarat.

Active women and girls

The City of Ballarat’s Active Women and Girls program started in 2018 after the Active Women and Girl’s Strategy was released. The program has quickly been seen as leading-edge action plan addressing the lack of women’s physical activity and participation in sport and recreation.

The City of Ballarat Sport Participation Profile and the City of Ballarat Spot, Physical Activity and Health Profile written in partnership with Federation University gave an overview of the current participation and health profile of women and girls in Ballarat.

Research for the Active Women and Girls Strategy found:

  • Higher rates of obesity compared to Geelong, Bendigo or Victorian averages.
  • Lower rates of people who were physically inactive.
  • Higher rates of club-based participation.
  • Ballarat’s most active age range is our 4- to 15-year-olds at 32%. Our 16-to 19-year-olds were our second lowest at 2% and our lowest active ages are 20- to 29-year-olds at 1%.

The Active Women and Girls key areas (pillars) are:

  • Participation
  • Culture and environment 
  • Infrastructure
  • Media action

The key aims of the Active Women and Girls Strategy include:

  • Increase female participation in structured and unstructured physical activities to be closer to the national physical activity guidelines.
  • Increase female participation and representation in leadership, governance, coaching and executive roles in the local sport and recreation, including within sporting clubs.
  • Make improvements to facilities and infrastructure to support increased female participation.
  • Increase local media stories and positive messaging for women and girls’ sport and active recreation programs.

Healthy and active Ballarat

A 2018 study shows that 61% of Ballarat’s adult population is overweight or obese. The City of Ballarat is committed to promoting healthy eating and active living for Ballarat.

A disease burden is the impact of people’s health on our health system. The largest cause of disease burden is a poor diet, closely followed by being overweight or obese. Chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health disorders make up 85% of the total burden of disease.

Reduced physical activity, a sedentary lifestyle, and a reliance on cars, combine to add to the burden of increased weight, chronic disease and other physical and mental health issues.

City of Ballarat’s priorities include:

  • Creating supportive environments
    • Developing policy which supports the City of Ballarat and our community to make healthy food and drink choices.
    • Encouraging and promoting breast-feeding friendly settings.
    • Supporting food places and organisations including early childhood services, schools, community groups and sports clubs to have and promote healthy food and drink choices. 
    • Having access to water bubblers and drink bottle refill taps in recreational and public areas
    • Reducing the marketing of unhealthy food at City of Ballarat facilities.
  • Building capacity and skills
    • Educating our community to help them make healthy food and drink choices.
    • Helping residents to develop skills to grow, purchase, store and prepare healthy foods.

More information on our commitment to healthy and active environments can be found in our Health and Wellbeing Plan.