Clubs taking action: women in sport
For local sporting clubs, it’s important to take notice of these results – after all, women and girls make up over half of the population! Being an inclusive club for women and girls is not only the ethical thing to do, it will also help to attract new members to your club.
Provide the same opportunities for women and girls.
A growth in the participation rates in sports like cricket, rugby and AFL is proof that women and girls enjoy playing team sport.
Sure, you can only field a team if there are players – but your club can play an important role in developing interest and demand for girls’ sport.
Do your bit by spreading the word and campaigning for a women’s team using social media, the club newsletter and your existing club community. You may be surprised by the response.
Make sure the club environment is inclusive and family-friendly.
Local sporting clubs should be environments where everyone feels safe and included. Having policies that focus on alcohol management, player conduct and safe celebrations can help to ensure the club is welcoming for those groups that might feel intimidated by the sporting environment.
This also means ensuring there are appropriate facilities for women and girls – think change rooms and uniforms.
Consider offering alternatives to traditional sport.
Having a child is proven to affect many parents’ ability to lead an active lifestyle, particularly whilst their children are young.
Many sports have had success introducing new forms of participation for busy, time-poor parents. Do some research to see what other clubs and leagues are doing to make local sport more flexible for different groups. Consider a Come and Try Day or a social competition for parents at the same time their kids are being coached.
Ask for and learn from feedback.
It never hurts to ask! If you already have female members at your club, ask them about the things they love and what they might change about the club environment.
If you’re a junior club, it might also help to talk to parents about any concerns they have about their kids playing team sport. After all, parents are major influencers when it comes to the club and team their child is a part of.