While the AFL Women’s league has been a soaring success, just 0.2 per cent of people who play football in the West are women.
This low level of participation can be seen across almost every sport and can have a ripple effect in the community, leading to social exclusion and poor health.
Wyndham City has partnered with six other Councils and Women’s Health West to boost women’s participation in sport and recreation in Melbourne’s West.
Wyndham City’s Sports Development Portfolio Holder, Cr Peter Maynard, said Wyndham City was leading the project.
“We’ve all enjoyed watching the launch of AFL Women’s, with much larger than expected crowds attending all the matches so far. But despite this, the latest research has shown us that women are underrepresented in sport and recreation, particularly in the western suburbs,” Cr Maynard said.
“There are many barriers facing women that can prevent them from getting involved in different sports. In Wyndham for example, 56 per cent of the population commute outside of the municipality for work, spending an average of two hours every day commuting.”
“More than 40 per cent of households in Wyndham have children and 25 per cent of Wyndham residents come from countries where English is not their primary language. All of these factors, along with the fact that only 35 per cent of Wyndham women have reported feeling safe when walking alone in their local area at night, have made it more difficult for women to participate in sport and recreation.”
“The low level of women participating in sport in Wyndham is something that we need to address. Women deserve an equal opportunity to enjoy the social interaction and physical and mental benefits that taking part in sport can provide.”
“Wyndham City is now leading a project involving the Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Melton and Moonee Valley City Councils, along with Women’s Health West as a way to tackle this issue.”
“Together we will develop a regional action plan that will set out key methods and activities to respond to the diverse needs of women and girls in Melbourne’s West to increase their participation in sport and recreation.”