Ensuring that women and girls have equal access to participate in all aspects of sport is a key aim of the Female Inclusion in Sport Grant Program, co-funded by the City of Whittlesea and DPV Health.
The annual program enables sporting clubs in the City of Whittlesea to apply for financial support of up to $3,000 for initiatives that promote an inclusive and supportive environment for women and girls.
Statistics show that women and girls are currently underrepresented in sport, both as players and leaders. In fact, only half of Victorian women are sufficiently active.
These grants aim to address gender inequality and boost female involvement in sports at all levels; as players, coaches, umpires or decision-makers.
Mernda Junior Football Club was one of 12 sports clubs to receive one of these grants in 2021. The club welcomes youngsters from all levels of experience and backgrounds and is committed to building its junior girls’ participation.
“Through the grant, Mernda Junior Football Club were able to provide football skills sessions to our girls’ teams,” said Sarah Alchin, the club’s Female Coordinator.
“Many of our girls have not grown up playing football, so these sessions were integral to building their basic football skills and giving our girls confidence in their abilities.”
“This has demonstrated to us that football skills can be taught to any girl – she only needs the desire and determination to play and learn.” – Sarah Alchin, Female Coordinator, Mernda Junior Football Club
For the players, improving teamwork, confidence and enjoyment of the game has offered them not only a pathway into football, but also into a welcoming community and all the health benefits of team sports.
Applications for the next round of Female Inclusion in Sport Grants are due to open in February 2023.