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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 March 2018) . . Page.. 742 ..

physical and emotional benefits of sport. It is a health imperative that people of every gender include sport and recreation as part of their everyday lives. If we want to achieve this we need to make sure all women and girls feel at home on the sports field.

The ACT government recognises the importance of this issue, and that is why I am so happy to bring it to the attention of the Assembly today. We are working hard to lift the profile of women’s sport and encourage all women and girls to get active, to bridge this obvious gap. One of the ways we are doing this is through sporting grants. We have set a clear agenda to promote and support women in sport by improving the inclusive nature of sporting environments and strengthening the focus on female participation and leadership. We are working at the local, elite and governance levels to ensure women are represented in our sporting community.

A key action within this agenda has been the provision of grants to the sector to drive gender equity in sport. The importance of this funding is simple—we are seeking to give organisations what they need to be successful in ensuring equality for all. The grants are provided with a view that benchmarks are reached, resource equity becomes the norm and organisations are strengthened by equality in leadership, participation and in the provision of places and spaces to play.

Some of the examples of grants we are providing are: $5,700 to ACT Basketball to investigate the decline in female participation particularly after the ages of 15 and at the social senior level in the ACT; $4,500 to ACT Softball to invest in female coaches within the sport; $4,500 to Capital Football to increase the number of female coaches at the grassroots level in the ACT and $4,700 to invest in female match officials; $10,000 to Netball ACT for athlete, coach and umpire development; over $9,500 to Pedal Power ACT to increase women’s participation in cycling and invest in female coaches; and $10,000 to Tuggeranong Netball Association to attract players from communities who are not well represented in the sport, such as the Muslim or the refugee communities.

Funding for these initiatives has only recently been announced, and we will follow their progress over the year. A condition of the funding is that research and insight reports from the various projects will be provided to government and inform future government investment. We want to have the biggest impact we possibly can in attracting Canberra women to local sport and recreation activities.

While many of these funding initiatives are only hitting the ground in 2018, our grants funding can also be used as a lever to influence other important outcomes. In September last year the minister for sport wrote to all sports currently receiving triennial funding to inform them that funding from 2020 would be linked to improved governance arrangements, particularly a minimum female board representation of 40 per cent. This accords with the Australian Sport’s Commission’s mandatory governance principals.

More diverse representation around the board table can ensure that differing perspectives are considered in the decision-making process and the needs of female participants are not brushed aside. We are already seeing positive progress from our local sector in moving towards this target, with 46 per cent of these triennially funded

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