RSV Media Release: 2014 Vic State Election

Regional Sport Victoria calls for additional funding to address the health disparity between regional and metropolitan Victoria

Regional Sport Victoria (RSV) the peak body for regional sport and recreation calls on the Government to invest in the health and social outcomes of regional Victorians through supporting sport and community club development.

Barry Switzer, Chair of Regional Sport Victoria and CEO of GippSport highlighted the inequalities between metropolitan and regional communities with regional Victorian communities performing worse on physical activity, cardiovascular and obesity indicators.

Victorians living in rural areas also have a lower life expectancy than those living in metropolitan areas.

“Working in regional communities we see daily the many barriers faced by communities to engage in sport and recreation, even though we know that sport is more often than not a social connector for many small towns. Health and wellbeing is strongly associated with being active and connected”

RSV asks that the State Government address the physical activity and health disparity between regional and metro Victoria by a commitment to:

    1.  Commit appropriate funding for the RSV network to:
      • Connect communities to local sport & recreation clubs and physical activity opportunities
      • Build capacity and sustainability of community sport and recreation clubs and volunteers
      • Deliver programs to increase participation, activate communities and strengthen connections
      • Grow participation and the lifelong enjoyment of sport and physical activity
    2. Develop a new physical activity and wellbeing criteria for all regional and rural state funding Grants regardless of whether the funding pertains to land- use planning, new services or infrastructure.

For more information please contact:

Barry Switzer, Interim Chair
Regional Sport Victoria
Mobile 0408 598 481

Regional – Metro Health Disparity
Health and Physical Activity in Regional Victoria

Regional Victoria has a consistently lower participation rate, a lower percentage of the population who are active at least 2 times weekly (on average).1

The prevalence of Victorians undertaking sufficient levels of physical activity was higher among metropolitan Victorians than in rural Victoria.2

Sedentary and low levels of exercise were significantly higher in the highest disadvantaged quintile, those from regional and remote areas and those who speak a language other than English at home.3

Cardio-vascular Disease
The prevalence of cardiovascular disease was higher in rural areas than in the metropolitan area of Victoria2.

Lifestyle Choices
Rural Victorians were more likely to be daily smokers than were metropolitan Victorians.2

Rural and regional Victorians are less healthy overall than their metropolitan counterparts, with many displaying poorer health-related characteristics and behaviours.4

People in rural and regional Victoria on average are more likely to be overweight or obese, have higher rates of tobacco smoking, higher levels of alcohol consumption, and insufficient consumption of fruit and vegetables.4

Rural Victorians were more likely to be obese than were metropolitan Victorians.2

Life Expectancy
Victorians living in rural areas overall have lower life expectancy that those living in metropolitan areas.4

The proportion of all people with a disability is higher in rural and regional Victoria (22 percent) than in major cities (17%). The Same trend applies for people with the need for assistance with a core activity, which is 4.3% in metropolitan Melbourne, compared with 5 per cent outside Melborune.5

1ERAS 2009, 2010, 2011
2The Victorian Health Monitor – Revised 2013
3Heart Foundation Fact Sheet: Level of exercise by socio-demographic status
4Rural and Regional Health Plan December 2011 Victorian Government
5State Disability Plan 2013-2016 Companion Document: p13