New ‘Best and Fairest’ competition aims to give sugary drinks the boot

3 September 2018

Victorian sports organisations, clubs and recreation centres are invited to enter the Rethink Sugary Drink Best and Fairest competition which serves as the perfect opportunity for thriving organisations to celebrate their healthy efforts in cutting back on sugary drinks.

Sports organisations are encouraged to submit a short video and fill out an entry form explaining how they have reduced sugary drink availability and made water the drink of choice. The best entrants will be rewarded with one of two $500 sporting equipment vouchers.

Craig Sinclair, Head of Prevention at Cancer Council Victoria, a partner of Rethink Sugary Drink, said sugary drinks have no place in sporting environments.

“Just over half (52%) of the added sugar Australians consume comes from beverages, such as sports and energy drinks. We know sugary drinks can cause tooth decay and can lead to weight gain and obesity, which increases your risk of serious long-term health problems, but ironically we constantly find these drinks at venues where children and families regularly play and watch sport,” Mr Sinclair said.

“It simply does not make sense for sports venues to be offering these high-sugar drinks which have no place in a healthy diet.”

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the Best and Fairest competition is a great way of celebrating and sharing the efforts of Victorian sports clubs taking a stand against sugary drinks.

“Sports clubs across Victoria are doing fantastic work in the fight against obesity by making the healthy choice the easy choice at their venues. This competition is a great way to celebrate their efforts,” Ms Rechter said.

“Limiting the availability of sugary drinks and increasing access to water at local sporting venues and facilities, will go a long way in improving the health of Victorians and encouraging healthy choices.”

One sports club that is working to improve the health of Victorians by reducing sugary drink availability on their grounds its the Murray United Football Club in Albury Wodonga.

Serena Brejcha from the Murray United Football Club acknowledges the positive position sports groups and clubs have in influencing the health behaviours where children and families play.

“Earlier this year we stopped selling soft drinks in our club canteen. Since then we’ve also improved the availability and promotion of water instead of sugary drinks by ensuring water is prominently placed in our fridges. We’ve received some really positive feedback from our community on the changes we’ve made.” Ms Brejcha said.

Craig Sinclair praised the forward-thinking changes being implemented by sports clubs like the Murray United Football Club.

“We’d like to see more sporting communities, like the Murray United Football Club, come together, rethink their sugary drink and begin adopting similar changes to help make the healthy choice the easier choice for Australians.”

Victorians can find out more about Best and Fairest and enter the competition once it goes live on Wednesday 5 September by visiting Entries close at 11:59PM AEST on Wednesday 5 December 2018. 

If they are looking for more support and inspiration to reduce sugary drinks and promote water as the drink of choice sports clubs and recreation centres are invited to join the Rethink Sugary Drink Reducing Sugary Drink Availability in Sport and Recreation Centres webinar on Wednesday 5 September. For details and to register, visit

Rethink Sugary Drink is a partnership between the Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Australian Dental Association, Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association, Cancer Council Australia, Dental Health Services Victoria, Dental Hygienists Association of Australia, Diabetes Australia, Healthier Workplace WA, Kidney Health Australia, LiveLighter, Obesity Policy Coalition, Parents’ Voice, The Public Health Association Australia, The Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) and the YMCA to raise awareness of the amount of sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages and encourage Australians to reduce their consumption.