Community Engagement through sport

Women In Sport

Women and girls participate in sport at around half the rate of males, and there are many reasons for this – including lack of female coaches and role models, a non-inclusive or unwelcoming environment at some sports clubs, and a lack of female-friendly facilities.


Physical Activity

Aussie kids are now among the least active in the world - 81% of our children are not getting enough physical activity - a far cry from the days when we were seen as a carefree, healthy, active outdoor society!

Obesity and associated health issues are soaring, including a huge rise in diabetes and mental health problems, especially among our young.

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Sport teaches valuable life skills, including leadership skills which are at a premium in today’s society. In sport, leadership reaches far beyond just the team Captain or Coach – every player or team member is encouraged to lead by example, learn from adversity and success, role model respectful behaviour and fair play.


Diversity and Inclusion

Nearly half of all Australians were born overseas. Our nation is a proud and diverse society, and sport has the opportunity to, as Nelson Mandela famously said, “unite people in a way that little else does”.

Nonetheless, sport has a way to go to become more inclusive and welcoming for those from migrant and refugee backgrounds, from LGBTI backgrounds, with disabilities and more.

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Moe and District Netball Association

Moe, Regional Victoria

Too often, the deciding factor on whether a child can play a team sport is the cost; registration fees, uniforms, equipment, shoes and even traveling to and from training and games and events all add up. Unfortunately, the reality for children living in Moe from the Aboriginal and Sudanese communities, sport is a luxury that too many families struggle to afford. 

The Moe and District Netball Association is passionate about providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Sudanese girls and boys to play a social sport whilst making friends, getting healthy and learning important skills such as teamwork and leadership.

Funds from the Australian Sports Foundation’s Giving4Grassroots program were used to provide kids from these communities with uniforms, balls and equipment to enable them to participate at the best of their ability despite the financial gap. The grant also enabled MDNA to run a coaching course for their parents, to encourage more family engagement in their children’s sport and to equip parents with the resources to be role models of healthy and active lifestyles.

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Geraldton Netball Association

Geraldton, Western Australia

Geraldton Netball Association use netball as a vehicle to grow and nurture positive role models for the Geraldton Aboriginal Community. The Australian Sports Foundation helped fund their Aboriginal Grassroots Program. The program enables women to transfer the important skills they learn on court around goal setting and team work into future education and career roles and leadership positions. These women become positive role models for the younger generation in the netball and wider community.

In addition, the Aboriginal Grassroots Program provides opportunities for participants to compete at major Netball WA annual events such as the Aboriginal Youth Gala Day, Smarter than Smoking Association Championships and the annual NAIDOC Netball Carnival, where girls have the opportunity to be chosen for elite Netball teams with a pathway towards playing for their state or country.


Southern Steelers Sports

Brisbane, Queensland

If you’re a Southern Steeler, you’re committed to nurturing healthy lifestyles, personal development and a sense of belonging for all women and girls through enjoyable and affordable sporting opportunities.

Steelers Connect is an initiative of Steelers Sports established with the goal of engaging more young girls and teens from multicultural and low socioeconomic backgrounds in sport and providing them with meaningful, ongoing opportunities that nurture their personal development and inspire them to reach their full potential. Funds are used in 2 ways:

  1. To provide fee subsidies and financial support for purchasing uniforms and lower the financial barrier to participating in the sport; and

  2. To put girls through Coaching and Umpiring Qualifications. Girls use these skills to give back to the community and share their knowledge with other players.

Steelers Connect is seeing girls and young women get involved in the sport who might not otherwise have the means to do so and is building the capacity to give back to sport through coaching and umpiring.


Firebrand Rugby Club

Adelaide, South Australia

The Firebrand Rugby Club’s mission is to “promote and teach Rugby Sevens to girls and women, developing them to their highest potential in a positive and safe environment while encouraging discipline, commitment, integrity, and humility, both on and off the pitch”.

To help achieve this, the Australian Sports Foundation club worked with the Club to fund a Big Sister Project, where the young and developing players have an opportunity to learn from the very best, with mentors and insights from the elite end of the game. The Big Sisters help demonstrate what is possible with training and dedication, which inspires and motivates the young girls to be their best, on and off the field.