A new first-of-its-kind strategy will be developed to shape the future of women’s sport in New South Wales.
Athletes from a range of sports were on hand yesterday to assist in the announcement of the Women in Sport Strategy, including NSW Institute of Sport’s Noemie Fox (Canoe Slalom), Teigan O’Shannassy (Netball) and Dani Stevens (Discus).
Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres has announced the Women in Sport Strategy will address issues including increasing participation, improving places and spaces, along with developing sporting partnerships and leadership opportunities for women at all levels.
“The spectacular rise in the popularity of women’s elite sport over the last ten years is unprecedented and we need to make sure our female athletes get the right recognition and support,” Mr Ayres said.
“It is great to see many broadcasters and sponsors sitting up and taking notice, with televised women’s sport currently reaching 4.7 million people across Australia every year.
“We have made headway, but a lot more needs to be done to tackle issues such as sponsorship deals that reflect the talent of the athletes.
“Unleashing the potential of female athletes has enormous value, particularly when you consider the positive impact of having strong female sporting leaders to act as role-models for younger athletes.
“We also need to do more at a grassroots level, for instance making sure that there are female change rooms at sportsgrounds and ensuring there is enough lighting for night games.
“It’s also fundamentally important that we reduce the drop-off rate for girls in their early teens. Research shows kids who play sport are more likely to develop healthy sporting habits into adulthood and the Government’s new Active Kids Rebate will help promote that.
The Office of Sport will work with key sporting codes, brands, sponsors and other partners to deliver the strategy and recommendations by mid-2018. The announcement coincides with a massive few months for women’s sport.
“This will be a blockbuster summer of women’s sport, we’ve just had a phenomenal Women’s Ashes, the Women’s Big Bash teams fire up in the next few weeks and from tomorrow thousands of footy fans will descend on Cronulla for all the action of the Women’s Rugby League World Cup,” Mr Ayres said.