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Sport Australia And Suncorp Extend Reach Of ‘Team Girls’

Sport Australia and Suncorp have confirmed a partnership to extend the reach of the Team Girls initiative to all sports, aiming to build a nation of more confident girls and women through a connection with sport.

In 2017, Suncorp and Netball Australia created Team Girls to help decrease the drop-out rate after it was found almost half of girls between the ages of 15-17 stop playing sport, and now the program has been expanded in partnership with Australian Government agency Sport Australia.

Sport Australia acting CEO, Rob Dalton, said the next three years specifically will see the rise of elite women’s sport in Australia, proven by Australia’s successful FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 bid last week.

“Australia boasts so many amazing female sport stars for young girls to look up to as role models, but we also believe that participation in sport can help build the female leaders of tomorrow, in whatever pursuit they choose,” Dalton said.

“Sport isn’t just about competing to be the world’s best; it’s about bringing out your best self.

“There’s so much more to sport than physical health benefits, it has the ability to build confidence, self-esteem, team-work, communication, social skills, leadership, goal-setting, and resilience.

“Sport Australia’s AusPlay research shows girls and women are actually as active as boys and men, but they tend to move away from sport in their mid-teens in favour of exercise and gym-type activities.

“Sport Australia recognises more than 90 sports in this country, and I’d encourage girls to keep trying until they find one they connect with and enjoy,” he said.

Suncorp CEO, Steve Johnston, said the rise of women’s sport in Australia is the perfect time to be further encouraging kids to engage with sports.

“Team sports can have an incredible impact on building a young person’s confidence, we have seen this firsthand through our support for the Suncorp Super Netball and Team Girls program,” Johnston said.

“Now with the support of Sport Australia, we want every girl across every sport to feel part of Team Girls.

“As a dad, I know how important building confidence is when growing up, particularly in the teen years.

“Team Girls is all about harnessing the confidence built through team sports and encouraging a positive community where girls feel supported, confidence and connected with their sporting community,” he said.

Dalton also added it is important for young girls to know sport is for them.

“A recent study showed Australian connect most emotionally with our international women’s teams like the Australian women’s cricket team, the Matildas in football, the Women’s Rugby Seven’s Olympic gold medallists, and the Australian Diamonds in netball,” Dalton said.

“In the next three years we have the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup of Basketball in Sydney, and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“This presents a powerful opportunity to help connect girls to sport in a very strong way,” he said.