The Ballarat Carnival promoted the health of the local community and showcased Aboriginal sports Carnivals as health promoting environments.
The NAIDOC Aboriginal Football Netball Carnival in Ballarat on the 14th and 15th of October saw over 4,000 Aboriginal Victorians gathering for a huge weekend of sport. The Carnival made a commitment to go Soft Drink Free for the event, with the support and encouragement from VACCHO (Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation), which was communicated weeks ahead of the event. This commitment included:
- an easily accessible hydration station
- 2500 #DrinkWaterUMob refillable water bottles for players and trainers
- food vendors not selling any soft drink at the event, and
- #DrinkWaterUMob signage on site.
Additionally, The Fitzroy Stars partnered with VACCHO, The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service Healthy Lifestyles team and YSAS (Youth Support and Advocacy Service) to bring the #DrinkWaterUMob message to life on the players and trainers jersey’s. The jersey’s featured the recognisable ‘Four Rivers’ artwork by Ngiyampaa woman Kim Kennedy which VACCHO has been using as the key visual feature to the water promotion projects. The Fitzroy Stars went on to win the division 1 football grandfinal, which meant even more publicity for the water message! The men in the team have said that it made from feel ‘proud’ to be able to use their football as a way to promote the important water messages and to be part of something bigger than football.
At the same time, VACCHO had purchased airtime on the WIN network and were playing the Aboriginal Rethink Sugary Drinks and Sports Drinks are Gammin (football) ads across the state during September and October to reinforce the water messages. A #DrinkWaterUMob ‘water drinking seflies’ competition was also run over the Carnival weekend while people were using Facebook to share and promote the Carnival.
Aboriginal Sports Carnivals in Victoria can also become Sugary Drinks Free to create healthy environments for sport. Go ahead and just do it!
For further information about the NAIDOC Carnival or how you can adopt a Soft Drink Free event for your community, please contact the VACCHO Nutrition team or phone (03) 9411 9411.Submit your story!