The NSW Government will invest $25 million in a ground-breaking female sport facility program that aims to get more women and girls playing sport.
NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the Community Female Friendly Sport Facilities and Lighting Upgrade Grants Program will see community sports facilities across NSW transformed into safer and more inclusive venues for females.
The grant program will allow community clubs to apply for funding to deliver female friendly change rooms, amenities, and lighting upgrades at sporting facilities across NSW.
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the program was a game changer for women’s sport in NSW.
“Women’s sport is going from strength to strength across our state and this program will provide safer, more inclusive community sports facilities that our female athletes need and deserve,” Mrs Taylor said.
As the largest team-based sport in NSW, Football congratulates the NSW Government on this new initiative for female sport.
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand less than 12 months away this new Female Friendly Sport Facilities and Lighting Upgrade Grants Program is the ideal program to assist in catering for the expected increase in demand during and post the Women’s World Cup.
Football NSW CEO, Stuart Hodge commented, “this is fantastic news for football and all community sport across NSW.
“Female football continues to rise, in 2022 there was close to 60,000 registered female participants that’s an increase of 15% from 2020.
“This fund will play a pivotal part in achieving football’s goal of 50/50 gender equality in participation by 2027.
“In NSW, only 24% of changerooms are female friendly.
“1 in 2 football fields across NSW either don’t have lighting or have lighting that is below the minimum standard for training (50 lux),” stated Mr Hodge.
Minister for Sport Alister Henskens said women’s sport is growing in popularity and this investment in community infrastructure and facilities will accelerate the number of girls and women playing sport.
“By investing in our sport communities to help boost female participation, we will ensure any young girl or woman who wants to lace up a boot, pick up a ball or run around a track, will do so in a supportive environment.”
The NSW Football Infrastructure Strategy has five key priorities, two of the priorities include Inclusive Football Facilities and Improving Existing Venue Capacity which is exactly what the Female Friendly Sport Facilities and Lighting Upgrade program is targeting.
Community infrastructure plays a pivotal role in the growth of community sport, particularly for females.
Facilities not only enable growth in the game, but they also enable broader community development. Ensuring females have adequate spaces where they can actively and safely engage in sport and recreation can provide improved social, health, educational and cultural outcomes for all.