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Increasing female participation through strong policy

Increasing female participation through strong policy

Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) presentation            

Parks and Leisure Australia, the key professional Association that provides services to members of the parks and leisure industry, invited members of Recreation Services to deliver a presentation on the implementation of Moreland Council’s Allocation and Use of Sporting Facilities, Grounds and Pavilions Policy and the subsequent achievements.

Women’s Sport Participation Officer, Brooke Mezzetta supported by Unit Manger Recreation Services, Joe Luppino, presented to 30 sport and recreation professionals from across a number of Councils.Parks and Leisure presentation

The presentation covered the implementation of Moreland’s Active Women and Girls Strategy (2009), the development of the policy and the support provided to Moreland clubs to assist them with increasing female participation within their clubs.

Council’s commitment to providing additional infrastructure including construction of 9 new netball courts, some of which are multipurpose, providing opportunities for basketball and tennis participation, was explored as well as the number of sporting pavilion change room refurbishments undertaken to ensure amenities are female friendly.

Delegates were impressed with the significant increase of female participation between 2009 and 2012, from 8 per cent to 15 per cent. The Policy was reviewed in 2012 and has since seen an increase to 20 per cent.

We also shared some of our fantastic club achievements including the development of Sports Clubs. West Coburg Sports Club now boasts five sports within its Sports Club - AFL, athletics, cricket, netball and softball.

Pascoe Vale Sports Club has a Senior Women’s Football side as well as Youth Girls, both of which have won Premierships and players have received Best and Fairest Awards.

Brunswick Renegades currently has a senior women’s side and in their second year of the Victorian Women’s Football League, made the grand final.

It was highlighted that the Policy is due for review and many of our State Sporting Associations now provide competition pathways for girls from entry level through to senior level.

To strengthen the Policy and further increase opportunity for females to play in competitive sport, the following changes are currently being explored:

  1. All sporting clubs to have female teams aligned with each respective State Sporting Association
  2. Development of a strategic plan to engage junior and female participants.

The presentation was well received and we have been invited to present at PLA's State Conference in May 2016.