Women and Girls need to feel safe, supported and encouraged to undertake regular physical activity, improving their physical and mental health and social confidence. Making a positive impact on participation rates will take more than just encouragement and provision of opportunities, it requires social & attitudinal change by women and girls and by those who can support them to have the time and freedom to be regularly active. Participation rates for women and girls is currently increasing at an unprecedented rate in traditionally male dominated sports such as AFL, soccer and cricket and Maroondah recognises the need to have a strategy to ensure that these new participants have the provisions and the infrastructure to encourage and support their continued involvement. The State Government’s 2014 Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation found that in sport there is a need for change and that collaboration is needed if change is to happen. Therefore, while continuing to improve the infrastructure to support women and girls to undertake sport and recreation, Council will also explore initiatives to support clubs to undertake actions to create inclusive, gender equitable club environments and empower women to take up coaching and decision making roles. The Equally Active Strategy builds on the recommendations of Council’s 2015 – 2020 Physical Activity Strategy which highlighted women as a specific population which will require targeted actions to make a positive impact on the current low physical activity levels. There are different factors that affect the physical activity levels of specific populations and therefore different strategies are required to overcome these challenges. The Equally Active Strategy highlights the challenges and opportunities being experienced within three specific sub populations in order to target specific actions which will have a positive impact on participation. In reviewing the participation rates for women and girls in Maroondah it was determined to focus actions towards the following target groups: 1. Women & Girls from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds 2. Young Women aged 10-17 years & 18-25 years 3. Women with care responsibilities. The vision driving this active participation strategy for women and girls in Maroondah is as follows ‘ In Maroondah, women and girls will have equal opportunity to undertake sport and recreational physical activity in environments where they feel welcomed, supported and safe’. The Strategy contains 24 priority actions which will involve a wide range of Council service areas.
Maroondah City Council: 2019