Friday, 26 May 2017

The Andrews Labor Government is creating a new body dedicated to improving gender equality to ensure all women and girls can play the sports they love.

Speaking at the Government’s inaugural Female Friendly Facilities Symposium at the MCG today, Minister for Sport John Eren announced the establishment of Victoria’s first Office for Women in Sport and Recreation

Women and girls deserve modern, safe, welcoming and inclusive facilities that support them to thrive and realise their dreams.

The office will implement the nine Game Plan Inquiry recommendations from the recent Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation and deliver further Change Our Game initiatives to increase participation and enhance leadership opportunities in sport for females.

Record numbers of women and girls are signing on to play at grassroots clubs. Inspired by the success of the inaugural AFLW League, there have been more than 300 new women’s and girl’s teams on the park this year.

Female participation in cricket has also reached record figures growing to 88,000 women and girls playing cricket in Victoria – that includes 150 new junior girl’s teams in 2016-17.

The Office will work closely with Local Government Authorities, State Sporting Associations, Regional Sports Assemblies and other sector organisations to strengthen the collaborative effort needed to lead and drive sustainable change.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 will invest an additional $6.2 million to level the playing field for women, both on and off the field, including education and cultural change initiatives, an annual “Play Lead Succeed” landmark event, annual leadership scholarships, a new leadership forums series, and strengthening female friendly coaching efforts.

The Budget also provides an additional $4m to extend the successful $10m Female Friendly Facilities Program to invest in female change rooms across Victoria. The new Office for Women in Sport and Recreation will also focus on identifying the policies and infrastructure required across Victoria to create female and family environments.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

Female participation in sport is going from strength to strength across Gippsland, with more women and girls joining clubs, teams and competitions across a number of codes.”

“The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with changing our game and building more female friendly change rooms because we believe every player deserves equal facilities.”

“Off the field, we are also taking steps to support women in leadership roles, in both elite and grassroots sport.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport, John Eren:

We are changing the game for women in sport. It’s not good enough to have women and girls changing in the back of cars to play the sports they love. It’s unfair – that’s why we are fixing it.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women, Fiona Richardson:

The list of female players who are making the big stage they’re own now is endless – it’s little wonder the next generation of women are banging on the doors of local clubs.”