AFL Tasmania and Cricket Tasmania welcome the Tasmanian Government’s pledge to invest $10 million over the next two years into a female friendly facilities grant program.
This investment is the largest funding commitment per capita by any State Government to levelling the playing field for females and it will reach all Tasmanian communities.
Cricket Tasmania and AFL Tasmania joined forces earlier this year off the back of massive growth in female participation and called for all community AFL/cricket grounds across Tasmania to be female friendly by 2027.
As first outlined in the Hobart Mercury, female participation has grown 26% to 13,508 in 2016-17 cricket season & 30% to 7,205 for AFL. However, evidence sourced from facility audits undertaken by Cricket Australia and AFL Tasmania identified more than 80% of all community cricket and football facilities in Tasmania were not rated as female friendly.
While the announcement today will benefit the 20,713 women and girls currently playing cricket and AFL across Tasmania, it will also pave the way for an inclusive welcoming environment for all users of the facilities within the community no matter their gender, age or background.
This investment will see football and cricket facilities meet universal design and minimum standards, including privacy screens on entry to change rooms, individual toilet cubicles and lockable shower cubicles.
Angela Williamson, Government Relations and Infrastructure Manager (TAS), Cricket Tasmania/Cricket Australia welcomed the grant program and committed to work with the government, clubs and councils to make sure it is a success.
“Cricket Australia undertook a national facility audit and the results were a telling reflection on what we need to focus on to ensure the rapid growth in female participation continues.
“Female friendly facilities were identified a top priority as only 20% were found nationwide to be female friendly.
“Here in Tasmania, the audit looked at all 192 cricket sites, and of the facilities with change rooms, only 17% of the facilities were female friendly.
“So we are pleased the Tasmanian Government is investing in solving this problem which will make a measurable impact towards creating a welcoming environment for all cricketers” she said.
Trisha Squires, Partnerships & Community Engagement Manager, AFL Tasmania stated that the current surge in participation of women and girls in football (30% increase on last year) will continue especially with the inclusion of the Tassie Kangaroos in the 2019 AFLW season, the Wrest Point Tasmanian State League Womens (TSLW) and community leagues continuing to expand year on year.
“We want to ensure that all females participating have access to fun and welcoming facilities in their community.
“While this is a gender based investment, this will benefit all users of community grounds” she said.
As part of the ongoing commitment to bridging the gender accessibility gap, Cricket Tasmania and AFL Tasmania will continue to work with the government, councils, peak bodies, leagues and associations to achieve the target of universal design compliance across the state by 2027.