Do you ever find yourself asking: what can I do to support women in sport? If you do, you’re not alone! It’s just so easy to follow men’s sport because it’s EVERYWHERE but you really have to put in a bit of effort if you want to show your support for our our awesome sportswomen.
To make it a little easier for you, I chatted to a bunch of athletes, administrators, advocates and media about how THEY support women in sport and they’ve also given me a bunch of great tips on what YOU can do to too.
Tameka Butt, Matildas
- I support women in sport by publicly showing my passion and respect for female athleticism and the natural physical and mental strength women truly possess.
- You can support women in sport by vocalising your interest via social media forums, general conversation and participating and engaging in female sporting festivities.
Anna Flanagan, Hockeyroos
- I support women in sport by showing a healthy and fit lifestyle to inspire the next generation.
- You can support women in sport by promoting the great achievement of our female athletes.
Lauren Jackson, Opals
- I support women in sport by being advocate equity in sport. I recently took on a role in the union ABA so that we can work toward full transparency on budgeting issues, policy issues ie. pregnancy policy, medical, and other issues that women face in sport which men really don’t have to deal with because of the financial aspect and the massive pay discrepancies in a lot of sports. The Opals have been very important to the national program by winning medals consistently over the last 22 years, and it’s time that we actually had a say in how we are treated by our governing body. When the women in the national program realise the power we have together, through solidarity and through the union, we will be able to create better conditions for the future.
- You can support women in sport by not sitting by and accepting conditions that are already set. We need to speak up about the inadequacies and discrepancies between men and women in this country in sport.
Support your daughters, sisters, mothers, partners, wives in sport by getting involved. By actively advocating for them, by watching them and enjoying their athletic abilities as athletes not only women. I think if people put gender bias aside and went and saw us compete in the sports they love, they would be pleasantly surprised at how talented we really are, and how gifted we really are.
Liz Ellis, Diamonds Legend
- I support women in sport by living it! That means talking about it, writing about it and demanding that even if people don’t like it, they respect it.
- You can support women in sport by tuning in or turning up.
Moya Dodd, FFA, AFC, FIFA
- I support women in sport by representing women in football at FIFA’s top table and urging football governing bodies to purposefully invest in the enormous growth opportunity in the women’s game.
- You can support women in sport by
- demanding that your local or national body makes its sport equally accessible to girls as boys, and calling out the unconscious biases that prevent this from happening
- calling on broadcasters and sponsors to actively gender-balance their sports resourcing
Stephanie Brantz, Fox Sports, ABC
- I support women in sport by telling everyone I can, both on and off air, how fabulous our female athletes are and why they are worth watching.
- You can support women in sport by getting to a ground/pool/court/arena to cheer them on live, or watching on television to give power to the argument for more coverage of our female athletes.
Ann Odong, The Women’s Game
- I support women in sport by consistently reporting and celebrating their successes
- You can support women in sport by being an engaged fan. Watch it on television, go to matches, buy memberships, buy jerseys and merchandise. Your support in these ways demonstrates that there is a market for women’s sport.
Paula Ward, Australian Womensport and Recreation Association (AWRA)
- I support women in sport by using social media to acknowledge women in sport who do not currently enjoy a high public profile, thinking about how to include non-traditional audiences in events related to sport, educating women without a knowledge a sport about our most popular games, attending games, supporting businesses who sponsor women’s sport, mentoring women endeavouring to carve out a career in sport.
- You can support women in sport by being an active participant in sport, attending live sport when women are playing/officiating, joining a sports Board and/or sharing media stories on your own social media to raise the profile of women in sport.
Shona McKeen, AWRA
- I support women in sport by mentoring young girls and their families through the sporting maze of representative and elite sport, including the coaching of athlete management principals.
- You can support women in sport by sharing stories of women who inspire you, taking the time once a week to tweet a photo, comment or story about a female athlete.
Paul Frederickson, AWRA
- I support women in sport by attending women’s sporting events.
- You can support women in sport by talking about how good it is to watch.
Julie Anderson, AWRA
- I support women in sport by advocating for equality, attending women’s sports events and forums, subscribing to organizations that address these challenges and provide networking and development opportunities
- You can support women in sport by being a voice for change when the opportunity presents itself, support organizations that address equality.
Fleta Page, AWRA
- I support women in sport by playing sport (women’s teams and leagues are often desperate for numbers), going to watch women’s sport, discussing women’s sport, and encouraging others – male and female – to take an interest in what’s happening in women’s sport by telling them about the interesting things happening and the people taking part (ie. doing the promoting people don’t get by osmosis through the media like they do with men’s sport)
- You can support women in sport by any of the above (unless you’re male, in which case playing a sport isn’t necessarily helping the women’s sport cause!), and encouraging/supporting your daughters/sisters/friends/
other women in your life to be involved in sport.
9 Ways to Support Women in Sport
- Follow sportswomen on social media.
- Get to a game! Summer is a great time to watch women’s sport: W-League (football) | WNBL (basketball) | WBBL (cricket).
- Watch on TV! W-League | WBBL.
- Buy a membership to your local team! NSW: Sydney FC, Sydney Uni Flames QLD: Townsville Fire, South East Queensland Stars SA: Adelaide Lightening VIC: Bendigo Spirit, Dandenong Rangers, Melbourne Boomers WA: Perth Lynx, Perth Glory ACT: Canberra Capitals, Canberra United.
- Call out the media for their lack of coverage.
- Congratulate media for their awesome coverage: The Canberra Times, The Women’s Game, Pretty Sporty, Vixen Sports.
- Write your own articles! Ask me how.
- Buy merchandise of your favourite team. And if you can’t get it, keep asking for it! *side eye at the FFA – Matildas jerseys NOW!*
- Support business who sponsor women’s sport.
- And… what have I missed? Let me know in the comments!
The Women’s Health I Support Women in Sport Awards are coming around again so you can get in on the conversation on Twitter using #ISupportWomenInSport – how do YOU support women in sport?