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Melbourne’s west to boost sport and recreation opportunities for women and girls

Melbourne’s west to boost sport and recreation opportunities for women and girls
March 16, 2020

A number of councils and organisations have partnered in Melbourne’s west to undertake a study into women and girl’s participation in sport and active recreation with the aim of increasing their representation.

Brimbank City Council, Wyndham City Council, Hobsons Bay City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Melbourne City Council, Melton City Council, Moonee Valley City Council, Women’s Health West, and Sport and Recreation Victoria, have worked together on the Women’s Participation in Sport and Active Recreation in Melbourne’s West: An Action Plan for Change 2020-2025 study and completed a draft action plan to increase the level of representation of women and girls in sport.

Women and girls in the Western region of Melbourne are underrepresented in sports and active recreation more than all other regions of Melbourne.

The Action Plan aims to:

  • Challenge and address the gendered barriers to women's and girls' access to sport and active recreation;
  • Increase the representation of women and girls in sport and active recreation across the western region of Melbourne, and;
  • Create positive change through region-specific actions in policies, physical environments, education and communication.

The draft Action Plan provides strategic direction to Council's around how to address the barriers to women's participation in sport and active recreation.

The draft Action Plan has five strategic priorities and objectives:

1.Leadership and Capability
Address the imbalance of opportunity, representation and access to sport and physical activity for women and girls in Melbourne's west through sport and community education, leadership development and capacity building.

2.Welcoming facilities
Plan and deliver physical environments with equitable access to facilities and spaces for women and girls to participate and enjoy their involvement in sport and active recreation.

3.Safety and transport
Provide safe and accessible spaces and transport routes to maximise opportunities for women and girls to participate in physical activity.

4.Programming and cost
Support a mix of free or low-cost programs and activities that are inclusive of women and girls of all ages, cultures and abilities.

5.Recognise, celebrate and promote
Generate positive messages and events that represent the diversity of women and girls living in Melbourne's west and celebrate the achievements of locals in sport and active recreation.

Wyndham City Council Sports Development Councillor Peter Maynard said the draft plan, adopted by Council last week, aimed to improve women and girl’s participation in sport and create more gender equitable opportunities and environments in Melbourne’s West.

Councillor Maynard said he wanted Wyndham residents to have their say on the draft plan before it is finalised and advised “now more than ever, we’re looking at ways to identify initiatives that motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to be more inclusive.

“Melbourne’s West has historically been an area that is under-represented by women and girls when it comes to sport.

“By developing this action plan, as a region we hope to be able to initiate change to address this disparity, build on the work already achieved in the field and target further change that is tailored specifically for our local communities.

“I look forward to seeing the action plan finalised and working with all of the partner Councils and organisations to implement real change in Melbourne’s west.

Following public consultation, the action plan will be finalised later in 2020. The project has been supported by a $45,000 contribution from the State Government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund.

To provide feedback on the plan before 5th April, go to https://theloop.wyndham.vic.gov.au/template3.

Image courtesy of Brimbank City Council

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