Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced the Federal Government will commit over $650,000 in funding to increase female participation and further build football’s capability as the sport works towards gender equity.
FFA Chief Executive Officer, David Gallop, said the funding, in partnership with Member Federations, will help football use its’ influence to extend the principles of equality and fairness beyond the field by building inclusive environments, supporting women and girls to play and be involved in the sport.
“Our aim is to ultimately increase female participation in the game; players, coaches, administrators and referees to reach 50:50 participation by 2027,” Mr Gallop said.
“This funding boost, via the Move It AUS program managed by the Australian Sports Commission, will help FFA and Member Federations all over Australia provide additional resources to increase female participation by a further five per cent.
“This will include delivery of training and workshops to build national and state capability when leading cultural change and addressing the barriers for participation by women and girls,” he said.
The funding is set to be distributed across three social football programs, ‘Soccer Mums’, ‘Kick On’ and ‘Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Women and Girls’, which are run in conjunction with Football Victoria, Northern New South Wales Football (NNSWF) and Settlement Services International respectively.
Head of Community, Football Development and Women’s Football, Emma Highwood, said the funding will be used to extend programs which are already run by FFA and Member Federations across Australia, so more women and girls have the opportunity to participate in football.
“We need to enhance football’s understanding of gender equality and the workforce’s capacity to remove barriers for women and girls through education and training, and this funding will assist with this important work,” Highwood said.
“Football is well placed to increase the physical activity levels for women and girls across Australia, through adapting our sport to become more accessible.
“We will build on the best practice models across Australia, working closely with our nine Member Federations to create a more inclusive environment in football while also creating accessible programs and opportunities,” she said.
Of the approximately $650,000 committed to FFA, NNSWF will also receive $162,000 for its’ Kick-On for Women program, an introductory football program in partnership with FFA offering a more social and accessible version of football, specifically modified for women in metropolitan, regional and remote Northern NSW.