The State Government has launched its new Women in Sport Taskforce which will work to raise the profile and participation levels of girls and women in sport and to address inequality that inhibits girls and women from actively and equally participating in the sport they love.

The landscape for women’s sport has changed immensely in recent years and as a result, the Taskforce has been re-established to continue to break down barriers and ensure women and girls thrive in sport in the future.

Given the rising popularity of women’s sport, it is vital for girls and women to have access to the support, equipment and training they need to pursue their sporting passions.

The Taskforce will tackle the issue of girls’ participation, given the Flinders University research which found South Australian girls are likely to quit sport from Years 10 to 12, as study and work are prioritised over sporting commitments.

All Taskforce members have a significant level of experience in women’s and girls’ sport and their insights will be crucial in informing the Taskforce’s priorities going forward.

The members of the Taskforce are:

  • Eleni Glouftsis OAM - AFL/AFLW umpire and the first female field umpire to officiate an AFL match.
  • Dr Amber Halliday OLY - dual Olympic rower, three-time world champion, former world record holder, former cyclist and Doctor of Psychology.
  • Paul Vandenbergh - National Diversity Talent Manager for the AFL and the Indigenous Lead for Basketball Australia.
  • Jenny Williams OAM - represented Australia in multiple sports and Principal Psychologist at Best on Ground Performance.
  • Professor Murray Drummond - Director of Flinders University’s SHAPE Research Centre.
  • Bronny Brooks - Vice-President of the Adelaide Jaguars Football Club, South Australia’s largest female-only soccer club.
  • Craig Scott - President of the Goodwood Saints Football Club.
  • Tony Wright - Executive Officer of the Limestone Coast Local Government Association.

The Taskforce has been re-established under the Malinauskas Government following the previous iteration of the Women in Sport Taskforce that ran from 2016 to 2018.

During this time, work carried out by the Taskforce included introducing two new funding programs – the Female Facilities and Female Participation Programs.

Quotes attributable to Katrine Hildyard, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing

The State Government is serious about backing women in sport and will work relentlessly to ensure girls and women can equally and actively participate in the sport they love.

When we see women and girls supported and celebrated for being physical, talented, strong and skilful on their particular playing pitch, the way women and girls are seen is transformed.  This is powerful and enables a difference to be made on many challenges that our community confronts.

The purpose of the Women is Sport Taskforce is to achieve gender equality in sport and in doing so, enable women and girls to get involved in the way they choose to – whether that be as an administrator, coach, athlete, official and/or commentator, we want girls and women to be welcome, included and empowered to pursue their sporting dreams.

There will also be a focus on raising the profile of women’s sport, given the positive impacts for both young girls and young boys to see girls and women celebrated for being strong, skilful and physical.

Quotes attributable to Dr Amber Halliday OLY, dual Olympic rower and former cyclist

Sport, experienced ‘right’, can be a foundation of mental health, resilience, and wellbeing.

I am passionate about helping women and girls experience sport and experience it right.

The Taskforce is exactly what we need to boost female participation in sport and take action on things like coach education, to help boost the positive experiences women and girls have in sport.