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Taking a closer look at the barriers for women in sport

Published: 9 February 2024

Teams of top researchers at Victorian universities will embark on research projects to help break down barriers for women and girls in sport, thanks to the Victorian Government.

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Deakin University and RMIT have been successful in securing grants of up to $25,000 towards three new research projects, made possible by the 2023-24 Change Our Game Research Grants Program.

The program backs Victorian researchers studying gender equality and sport and supports them to investigate how to prevent barriers for women and girls to participate, lead and succeed in sport.

The program also supports the development of early career researchers with an interest in gender equality and the emerging issues impacting women and girls in sport and recreation.

Deakin University has scored two grants, Dr Christopher Scanlon, Professor Kristy Hess and Lauren Bevilacqua will lead research aimed at increasing women’s visibility in Victorian sports media called Off the Sidelines.

While Dr Rhiannon Snipe, Associate Professor Helen Brown, Dr Amelia Carr, Associate Professor Luana Main, Dr Lyndell Bruce and Associate Professor Severine Lamon will look at the impacts of menstruation on participation in sport and active recreation .

RMIT University will examine active outdoor recreation experiences for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse women through the Social, Accessible, Fun and Equitable (SAFE) project which will be led by Dr Ancy Gamage, Dr Sehrish Shahid, Professor Emma Sherry and Professor Mayowa Babalola.

Dr Gamage said sports and outdoor recreation activities help build confidence as well as mental and physical health, yet so few CALD women get involved in these activities.

'We hope that by building a better understanding of these unique barriers to participation, we can design more culturally appropriate programs to help these women take that step to join their local sports club, or even just to take a walk in nature,' she said.

This round will bring the total value of research grants awarded through the Change Our Game Research Grants Program initiative to more than $460,000 – with 21 research projects being supported since 2018.

Funded through an earlier round of this program, La Trobe University’s Enhancing Participation Pathways for Women Coaches in Community research explores the key barriers experienced by women coaches in community sport and was released today.

It outlines eight steps that sporting organisations and clubs can adopt to recruit, induct, support, train and retain women as coaches. To find out more about the research and the program visit Change Our Game.

Page last updated: 08 Jun 2024
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