Removing Barriers For Women In Sport With New Research

20 June 2022

The Andrews Labor Government is backing new research to break down the barriers facing women and girls in sport.

Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence today announced the successful recipients of the Change Our Game Research Grants Program, with four projects across four universities getting underway soon.

Victoria University will use its grant to investigate the biases women in coaching and officiating roles are subjected to and provide recommendations on how to improve attitudes.

Investigating the lived experiences of women in rural football-netball clubs will be the focus of a study from Swinburne University of Technology, with the aim of encouraging more women and girls to get involved in local sport.

Deakin University will examine the impact of the Government’s Balancing the Boards Policy by exploring actions, processes, and board experiences as state sport organisations worked to achieve the target of 40% women on boards.

A research project aiming to encourage more women to become part of officiating across soccer, basketball and Australian rules football will be undertaken by La Trobe University. It will aim to identify what support is needed for more women to overcome the barriers to succeed as sport officials.

The Change Our Game Research Grants Program, offered through the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, supports Victorian researchers with grants of up to $25,000 to carry out studies relating to women and girls in sport and active recreation.

Since the program was established in 2018 the Government has backed 10 projects with grants totaling more than $200,000.

Previous studies have had a significant impact on the sector, such as research by Victoria University into barriers for participation which found certain types of uniforms made them uncomfortable.

This has led to many clubs now providing greater flexibility in uniforms, so women and girls feel more comfortable and are more likely to participate and keep playing.

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Quotes attributable to Minister for Community Sport Ros Spence

“The research from this grants program has provided real insights into the barriers faced by women and girls participating in sport.”

“Studies like these capture the voices of women involved in sport from the grassroots to elite level and that goes a long way towards breaking down barriers.”

Reviewed 20 June 2022

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