Bayside City Council identified that the lack of existing facilities that support female participation was a significant issue for them.
With 27 sporting pavilions, 50 sports clubs, 1300 teams and 20,000 club members, only 80 per cent of Bayside’s pavilions predate 1960 and 96 per cent don’t have appropriate change facilities for women.
Bayside City Council introduced a community campaign, (coinciding with the Bayside Leader and the Leader community papers also running their own similar campaign ‘The Grass Ceiling’) which promoted stories of inadequate sporting facilities affecting participation of women and girls in physical activity.
The campaign raised awareness of the current state of facilities for women and girls to participate in sport and active recreation as well as the awareness of how inadequate and inappropriate facilities adversely affect the inclusion of women.
Awareness of these issues has opened a dialogue within council about how planning and development of facilities’ funds are to be allocated, as well as how clubs allocate the limited resources that they have to ensure female participation can be supported.
Bayside City Council now recognise the need to support female participation and have reinforced these views by bringing forward some planned facility improvements believed to have the greatest impact on female participation (both in male-dominated activities, and where there is existing great demand for the activity from females).
It’s clear that upgrading sporting infrastructure at the grassroots level will enable more women to participate in sport. Better facilities send a strong message that women and girls are welcome at the clubs. “These type of improved facilities helps our girls feel welcomes into the club, and feel like they have a place here” – Club President, East Brighton Vampires Junior Football Club.
Credit: Change Our Game
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