Clubs leading the charge for women in sport
This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating three clubs who are championing women in sport.
Read more below to find out how these local sporting clubs are forging the way for gender equality.
Perth Broncos American Football Club Inc.
Typically, American football is associated with big, battery-ram style blokes – but over in Perth the Broncos are busy turning that image on its head.
“It’s important for girls and women to have opportunities to play a variety of sports. Knowing you have the support of your coach and teammates when learning a new skill or competing helps build confidence, self-worth and resilience,” says Kellie Hopkins, Perth Broncos president and Gridiron West Women’s League director.
The Broncos have initiatives across the board designed to increase female participation in gridiron.
With a dedicated training program for its women’s team, the club provides education on how coaching women differs from coaching men. It regularly collects feedback from the women’s captains to track how the team is going.
The club makes sure women are visible and involved in all aspects of the club. This includes on the board, coaching staff and team support personnel (sports trainers, team managers and member protection information officers). The Perth Broncos also encourage all members to advocate for women and makes sure social events are inclusive.
“Our social events are a key part of our club’s culture and their success is largely due to Good Sports helping us promote responsible attitudes to alcohol. Communicating these values to our members has made it easier for our female players to attend and enjoy themselves,” says Kellie.
Newcastle Netball Association Inc.
Newcastle Netball Association recently won the 2019 NSW Good Sports Club of the Year award.
The association’s competitions are diverse with an all-abilities competition. Walking netball removes barriers for seniors to participate in the sport. It was also the first association in NSW to run an Indigenous round in 2019. This helps ensure netball is accessible to women from all walks of life. Social games pre and post season draw lots of female participation.
“We have people aged four to 80 playing in our clubs, including men and boys. There are almost 4000 women playing within the association, which is just fantastic,” says club president Cheryl Hernando.
“I think it’s great for women to be involved in sport because it’s an inclusive atmosphere. Of course, fitness is important for women’s health, but lifelong friends are also made through playing sport.”
East Torrens Baseball Club
East Torrens Baseball Club in northeast Adelaide, South Australia, fields seven junior teams and seven senior teams. It also runs a T-Ball competition on Friday nights.
Being a family friendly club, it promotes junior development programs as well as senior social baseball. The introduction of a first-class female program in 2018 is a proud feature. The club strives to be welcoming to all. The team has been steadily increasing in numbers over the past two seasons, encouraging participation from women and girls.
Club secretary Angela Probert credited Good Sports for its support in making the club the healthy environment it is today.
“We want everybody, including our new women’s team members to feel valued and included in what has predominately been a male dominated sport,” says Angela.
East Torrens baseball is successful on and off the field by ensuring that the baseball community is a safe environment and accessible sport for all. The club’s executive committee believes that positive role modelling and education are the key to success.
“As a committee, we have a responsibility to provide physical wellbeing, while also providing a supportive environment that promotes mental wellbeing. Players have testified to how the club continues to be their safe community, their counsellor and their compass that makes them feel valued and supported,” Angela added.
Photo credit: Shane Lawrie / BeardySnaps