AFL Goldfields and Basketball Ballarat will take the lead on a new project to improve gender equality in grassroots sport across the region.
Pilot program Act@Play is an extension of Women's Health Grampians Act@Work program and will focus on promoting cultural change in sport and recreation fields to strengthen prevention of violence against Women in Victoria.
Both organisations will work with clubs and partner associations to improve sustainable, female-friendly environments.
AFL Goldfields general manager Rod Ward, who has long been a White Ribbon ambassador, said football-netball clubs were great vehicles for social change and awareness on a wide range of issues.
He said Act@Play fit in with reviews to the AFL Goldfields strategic plan, which was underway. An AFL Goldfields action group had already identified key initiatives the league could make in improving gender equity and access for females to sport across its leagues.
Women's Health Grampians chief executive officer Marianne Hendron said grassroots sporting organisations could be great leaders for positive, societal change and safer spaces for females to enjoy sports.
“(Associations cam) also challenge stereotypes that can limit their involvement in sports and community life more broadly," Ms Hendron said.
“Sporting clubs add a critical opportunity to influence the attitudes and beliefs about what is normal and acceptable behaviour. Leadership in this area is critical if we are going to create a better, safer and more equitable community for our next generation."
Sports Central will work with Women's Health Grampians, AFL Goldfields and Basketball Ballarat in rolling out the pilot program. The aim is for the pilot to help direct inclusive opportunities for females across sporting fields.
Alternative programs focusing on gender equality and preventing violence against women are available to sports clubs and associations across the region.
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