Supporting girls in sport
Australian girls feel that unequal treatment is most profound in sport, according to the Dream Gap Report released by Plan International Australia.
The survey of 1,742 Australian girls aged 10-17 years old asked girls about their view of the world, from their experiences in environments like school and the home to their perception of sport and the media. The report was released to coincide with the International Day of the Girl Child.
As a sporting community, it’s important to take notice of these results and do whatever we can to help make sport a more level playing field.
Don’t know where to start? We’re here to help!
- Look at your facilities. Have a think about your change-rooms, toilets and the club in general – are they spaces where a girl would feel comfortable?
If not, it’s probably time to make your club environment more inclusive! Have a look in to grants and funding, there are plenty of opportunities available to help get more women and girls in to sporting clubs.
Find a grant for your club!
Victoria: Sport and Recreation Victoria Grants
Queensland: Female Facilities Program
Western Australia: Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund
Tasmania: Communities Sport and Recreation grants
Northern Territory: Facilities and Recreation grants
New South Wales: Local Sport Grant Program [hurry closing soon!]
Australian Capital Territory: Active Canberra Grants
South Australia: Female Facilities Program [Round 4 opens in February]
- Who are your leaders? Sporting role-models are so important for changing perceptions, challenging stereotypes and encouraging more girls to play sport.
Think about how many women are on your committee, as well as the roles that they have. If there are no women interested in taking on leadership roles, how about looking for a local mentor to speak to the club?
- Are there opportunities for girls? Sure, you can only field a team if you have players who are interested. But your club can play an important role in developing interest and demand for girls’ sport.
Do your bit by spreading the word and seriously campaigning for a women’s team – use social media, the club newsletter and your existing club community to get the word out and seek expressions of interest. You may be surprised at the response.
Including people of all genders at your club is not only great for the local community, it can help club participation and member numbers. In the past five years, girls and women participation in cricket has more than doubled over, while sports like the AFL and Rugby League have also experienced significant growth by championing inclusivity.