Fair playing field is now Council policy

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Council will ensure fair access to sport and recreation facilities under a new policy unanimously adopted at this month’s Council meeting.

Read the policy

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Ben Blain said the Fair Access and Use Policy was aimed at ensuring equal access to sporting opportunities and facilities for female and male participants.

“It’s clear that much of our older sports infrastructure – and sports infrastructure across the nation – was built primarily for males,” Cr Blain said.

“Over recent decades we have seen that - despite the lack of suitable facilities - a growing number of girls and women are taking up sports including cricket, soccer and footy.

“It’s something that we need to more actively support.

“As a Council we need to make sure that our new buildings cater to gender diversity and that when we renew our existing buildings that we make changes that recognise that women and girls will need to use the facilities. 

“The changes to physical infrastructure are part of the solution to gender inequality in sport, the other major change that’s needed is a cultural one.

“We need sporting clubs and organisations to commit to doing all they can to eliminate obstacles to female participation in sport and we need to make sure that all clubs and organisations using Council facilities are doing all they can to make their organisations welcoming places for girls and women.

“We’re partnering with South West Sport to deliver the Respect in Sport program to clubs and sporting organisations.

“Many clubs and leagues are already committed to change and have made significant strides to make their sports more equitable.

“Through South West Sport, clubs and organisations will receive the skills and training to make meaningful change.

“The end result will be stronger clubs and better opportunities for more people to get involved in sport regardless of gender.

“It’s a win-win and it’s going to mean a lot for Warrnambool given that we love sport and it’s a huge part of our city’s culture and identity.”