2018 LEAP Graduation - Wrap

If you work in sport, you’re probably used to hearing acronyms all the time. Fair to say, Aussies shorten almost every word in our vernacular. There is however, an acronym that deserves to stand alone and be recognised for each individual word: LEAD, ENGAGE, ACHIEVE, PROMOTE aka ‘LEAP’.

2018 LEAP Graduation participants and their mentors

LEAP is a professional development course for female sport administrators. On Wednesday 10 May 2018 at the Citipower Function Centre at the inconic Junction Oval, Vicsport and the State Government of Victoria partnered together to create a program aimed at inspiring female sport administrators to enhance their leadership capabilities to reach their full potential.

13 women braved the stage, embraced their fears of public speaking and presented in front of an esteemed audience of government officials and their employers, and pitched an idea/concept on how they would implement change in their sporting organisation.

L-R: Leap graduates Tanya Mason and Helen Tyrikos presenting their pitches

To bring you up to speed on what the LEAP program is all about, here’s a brief snapshot....

Over the course of four days, 13 women participated in the LEAP program. The course was facilitated by Allison Crab, Telstra Businesswomen of the Year finalist and Lyndall Russell, Australia's most experienced transformational facilitator. Together, Alison and Lyndall go by the business name; Mad 4 Leaders, and yes, another acronym M-A-D: Making a Difference. Alison and Lyndall provided endless support to the LEAP participants, equipping them with the tools and secrets on how to ‘stand and be heard’ in the workplace.

L - R: Vicsport General Meghan Mayman thanking Alison and Lyndal for facilitating the LEAP program and Brooke Connolly presenting her pitch to her employer Libby Mears

Women from various sporting organisations took time out of their busy schedules and pushed beyond the boundaries of self-confidence to grow professionally. The participants were teamed up with a mentor to flesh out ideas on how they can elevate their careers. The mentors acted as sounding boards and provided support to the participants, giving them the confidence they needed to prepare their presentations.

L-R: Dr. Bridie O'Donnell and Vicsport Chairman Ron Gauci presenting Adriana Hlede her LEAP graduation certificate.

Ron Gauci congratulating the 2018 LEAP graduates

On the final day of the of the program, the participants were treated to a special in-house session with Dr. Bridie O’Donnell; Head, Office for Women in Sport and Recreation. Bridie, a former international road cyclist shared her stories of struggle as a woman competing in a male dominated sport. Bridie reinforced the need for women to take control of their careers and speak up for their entitlements and opportunities in the workplace.

The Change Our Game program is the backbone of this initiative. Providing women with the skills and professional development they need to not just aim high, but also to dream big. Female empowerment is on it’s way up in the world of sport and these 13 women are a testament to talent making waves in the Victorian sporting industry.

WATCH: testimonies from two 2018 LEAP graduates Renee Frizzell and Georgia Dyer

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