Deputy Mayor Cr Belinda Coates with Jasmine Emselle of the Eureka Strikers.

MORE than 250 people fires. gave up sugary drinks for a month as part of the City of Ballarat’s H30 Challenge in May.

Based on each drinking a minimum of 375ml of sugary drinks before joining the H30 challenge, that’s a whopping combined 2,812.5 litres of sugary drinks not consumed during their participation. Aside from less sugar consumed, money likely saved and the health benefits, some H30 participants were also rewarded with prizes from the City of Ballarat for their efforts:

Wendouree resident, James Rasmini, came out a winner everywhere, cutting his sugar intake and winning a full annual Ballarat Aquatic & Lifestyle Centre (BALC) membership worth $1,000. James said that he used heard about the challenge and decided to enter to cut down on the amount of sugary drinks he consumed each day.

“I used to drink 10 cans of coke a day, now I drink water,” he said.

“I feel really good now; a lot better and I’ve lost a lot of weight.”

The Eureka Strikers women’s soccer club also won $1,000 for its efforts in signing up members.

The club will capitalise on the recent Matildas visit to Ballarat and use the money for equipment and activities that promote soccer and active living to young women across Ballarat, including by offering free soccer clinics to girls aged 7-14 years during the July and September school holidays. Speaking on behalf of the Strikers Jasmine Emselle said the sport of soccer was growing in popularity and the money would help to promote it further. Ten other H30 participants won 10-visit multi-passes to BALC.

The VicHealth H30 Challenge encouraged residents to make a short-term change of quitting sugary drinks for 30 days to encourage them to make a long term change to drinking just water.

A recent survey in Ballarat showed men aged 18–34 years are the highest consumers of soft drink, with 1 in 4 drinking it daily and 1 in 2 drinking it at least every 2–3 days.

Deputy Mayor Cr Belinda Coates congratulated the winners and all the participants. “We know that Ballarat doesn’t stack up particularly well on a number of health indicators – obesity, heart disease, diabetes are all really high and even dental health, as well, sugar has an impact on these,” she said. You can still join the H30 challenge and swap sugary drinks for water for a month: http://h30challenge.com.au/