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BREAKING BARRIERS TO HELP GIRLS STAY IN SPORT

Sport helps young people to clear their mind, lift their mood, give them energy, improve productivity and help them sleep. But the peak age of adolescent women and girls dropping out of sport is 15 years, and a majority have said their family rarely or never watch women's sport, and they don't have women sports stars they look up to. Unfortunately, previous sporting outreach programs for gender equity by the NSW Government have not been successful in engaging adolescents.

Today in Parliament, Amanda passed a motion calling on the Government to deliver relevant sport projects and grants programs to remove location-based, social, structural and sexist barriers to sports participation for all children and young people in NSW, and prioritise projects targeting the critical years of adolescence in all future sports participation strategies. 

Amanda's motion can be read below: 

(1) That this House notes that according to research by Year13 published in May 2023:

(a) the peak age of adolescent women and girls dropping out of sport in Australia is 15 years old, and that this is occurring at twice the rate of adolescent men and boys,

(b) 62 per cent of adolescent women and girls said their families rarely or never watched women’s sport, and 60 per cent of girls reported they did not have women sports stars they looked up to, and

(c) adolescent women and girls who did continue playing sport acknowledged the ability of sport to clear their mind, lift their mood, give them energy, improve productivity and help them sleep.

(2) That this House acknowledges that in light of its findings, Year13 launched its PlayOn campaign which seeks to address gender inequality in sports participation by connecting adolescent women and girls with relatable and elite role-model sportswomen, raising awareness of the social and health benefits of playing sport, and campaigning to elevate how women’s sport and players are spoken about and perceived.

(3) That this House further notes that the independent evaluation report of the NSW Government’s “Her Sport Her Way” grant program published in June 2021 found that few “Her Sport Her Way” programs targeted adolescents and only one program successfully engaged adolescents.

(4) That this House calls on the NSW Government to:

(a) deliver relevant sport projects and grants programs to remove location-based, social, structural and sexist barriers to sports participation for all children and young people in New South Wales, and

(b) prioritise projects targeting the critical years of adolescence in all future sports participation strategies.

The Motion was agreed to and passed. See Hansard for the full transcript, here.
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