Boost To Level The Playing Field For Women In Sport

The Andrews Labor Government will continue its ground breaking initiatives to improve gender equality in sport, both on and off the field.

Minister for Sport John Eren joined Minister for Women Fiona Richardson, representatives from Netball Victoria, Hockey Victoria, the State Sport Centres Trust, and stars from our top professional women’s teams at the State Netball and Hockey Centre today to announce more support to help level the playing field for women in sport.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 invests $6.2 million to continue implementing the nine ‘Game Plan Inquiry’ recommendations and to deliver further Change Our Game initiatives.

This funding boost will ensure more women and girls have the access and opportunity to play the sports they love, and ensure grassroots clubs across Victoria are welcoming and inclusive places.

We are also taking action to help more women take on sports leadership roles and will investigate the idea of a Centre of Excellence for Sport Leadership.

Change Our Game initiatives that will benefit from this new funding include the continuation of the champions program over the next four years, and community initiatives that challenge unconscious bias.

Education and cultural change initiatives will also be delivered, including an annual “Play Lead Succeed” landmark event, annual leadership scholarships, a new leadership forums series, and strengthening female friendly coaching efforts.

The Budget also includes $1 million to kick start planning and design work to transform the ageing State Netball and Hockey Centre into a world class venue for elite athletes, grassroots teams and fans.

More than 500,000 people a year play or watch netball, hockey and other events at the centre, with over 80 per cent of its users being female.

Revamping the home of netball and hockey in Parkville will be another massive win for women and girls, providing more opportunities to get active and strive for the best, on and off the courts.

The Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre will be reconfigured to provide additional netball courts, housing the Melbourne Vixens and Victorian Fury netball clubs until the redevelopment is complete.

The Budget also includes an additional $4 million to expand the existing $10 million Female Friendly Facilities Program to upgrade or build even more new women’s change rooms at grassroots clubs all over Victoria.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren

“We’re changing the game for women’s sport in Victoria. These investments will ensure we continue to level the playing field and give our elite netball and hockey stars the very best facilities in the world.”

“Just this week, Hawthorn appointed the first female CEO in AFL history. We want to see more inspirational and qualified women like Tracey Gaudry in the top jobs.”    

Quote attributable to Minister for Women Fiona Richardson  

“Record numbers of women and girls are signing up to play the sports they love, but women are still under represented on boards, in administration roles and other leadership positions. We’re changing that.”