Every Victorian – no matter their age or ability – is being urged to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and improve their fitness and health ahead of this year’s Premier’s Active April challenge.

Minister for Sport John Eren today launched Active April for 2017 at Gosch’s Paddock with AFL Premiership star Jake Stringer, Melbourne Stars and Western Bulldogs all-rounder Emma Kearney, Diamonds and Collingwood netballer Madi Robinson, Professor Jo Salmon and students from Lighthouse Christian College.

Getting involved in Active April can be as simple as taking a regular walk, riding to school or work, exercising during your lunch break, getting out in the garden or joining your local sports club.

The students from Lighthouse Christian College show you don’t have to be an elite athlete like Stringer, Kearney or Robinson – anyone can sign up and make the change.

By taking the first step, you can work your way up to an exercise or a sport that you love.

Research shows that up to 81 per cent of children don’t exercise enough and as many as 57 per cent of adults are at risk of chronic health problems due to their lack of physical activity. That costs us about $13.8 billion a year.

Turning that around, with just 30 minutes a day of exercise, can improve both our physical and mental health.

People can sign up to Active April as an individual or you can get your friends, family or work colleagues together to form a team.

Last year more than 104,000 people made a pledge to do 30 minutes of exercise each day in April. In 2016, nearly 11,000 teams joined and motivated each other to stay active.

In 2017, there is a new mobile app that gives participants the chance to log their physical activity, the time they spend exercising, and allows groups to track and compare their progress.

Sign up today at www.activeapril.vic.gov.au or join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Registrations are open until April 30.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren

“As a father of five, every parent wants their kids to be happy and healthy, and being active is an important part.” 

“It’s amazing how exercise can turn things around for people – Active April is a great place to start.”

“It’s free and easy for everyone to get involved. Sign up today, join in the fun and have a go.

Quotes attributable to 2017 Active April Ambassador Jake Stringer

“Off the field, as a dad of two, I can appreciate how tricky it can be to find time to exercise.”

“By making small adjustments such as walking the kids to school or getting outside on your lunch break, it can make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing.”