Women and girls sport (15.9.2015)

Written on the 16 September 2015


15 September 2015



GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)


My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Sport.

It is well known that participation in sport has multiple benefits. Statistics on the rates of obesity in Australia are alarming. The Victorian Better Health Channel cites the Australian Health Survey First Results, 201112 as stating that for Australian adults 18 years and over, the proportion of people in the overweight and obese category has increased over time from 56.3 per cent in 1995 to 61.2 per cent in 200708 and 62.8 per cent in 201112. Sport and physical activity can prevent or reduce many health-related problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoarthritis, cancer and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, and it is well documented that children who are active are more likely to mature into physically active adults.

If we know all these benefits, why are we not doing anything further to promote greater participation, especially for girls and women?

In the Bayside area a significant barrier to participation has been identified, and that is a lack of facilities. I would like to commend the Grass Ceiling campaign in my electorate of Southern Metropolitan Region which calls for a fair go for girls and women who love their sport. The Grass Ceiling campaign calls for better change rooms, more courts, better courts and guaranteed funding that is on a par with funding for men's teams.

The mayor of the City of Bayside, Cr Felicity Frederico, has made female participation in sport a priority for that council, which is working towards upgrading 27 sporting facilities within the next 15 years.

A recent article in the Bayside Leader highlighted the need for better facilities. It stated that Bayside has 27 sporting pavilions, 50 sports clubs, 1300 teams and 20 000 club members, that 80 per cent of these pavilions predate 1960 and that 96 per cent of the sporting pavilions do not have appropriate change facilities for women. It also said that the Sandringham and District Netball Association (SDNA) has eight clubs and more than 2200 registered members but that 190 SDNA netballers are on a forced bye each week because of inadequate facilities or courts.

The action I seek is that the minister speak to the Premier about the need for greater female participation in sport, highlighting the disparity that exists, and request that the Premier raise this issue at the Council of Australian Governments meeting so that the need for greater women's participation can be further highlighted at a national level.



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