Change Our Game Community Sport Symposium
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation hosted the first ever Change Our Game Community Sport Symposium at Deakin Edge, Federation Square on Friday March 6.
Over 400 people, working and volunteering across the broader Victorian sport and active recreation sector were on hand for a thought-provoking discussion focused on the important role community sport playing in driving positive change.
The Change Our Game Ambassadors kicked the Symposium with a moving and personal storytelling piece, sharing with the audience their own experiences in sport and what drove them to become a leader and commit to making a difference as a Change Our Game Ambassador.
Dr Bridie O’Donnell, Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation followed the ambassadors with an overview of the Change Our Game initiative and spoke on the progress we have made across all levels of sport, globally.
“There have been a lot of people for a really long time who have had a perfect view of sport without the need to stand on a step. Our job, here at the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation is to ensure that everybody, with every skin colour and every ability and every sexuality, is able to see over that fence.”
We want everyone to be able to walk through those club doors and say I’m here, I want to volunteer, I want to work here, I want to be your leader, I want to play here…” Dr O’Donnell said.
Two thought provoking panel discussions followed, the first, focused on the importance of having women in visible leadership positions and featured Peggy O’Neal, President Richmond Football Club, Richard Hinds – Sportswriter and Lord Mayor Sally Capp – City of Melbourne.
Bec Goddard, Hawthorn VFLW Coach, Chris Lacey and Emma Race were on the second panel, discussing the important role community sport plays in driving cultural change.
To close out the symposium and arriving to a standing ovation, Billie Jean King
Billie Jean joined Bridie onstage and thanked the community sport leaders in the room for their work and commitment to grassroots sport.
“It starts at grass roots, every child should have an opportunity…everyone matters.”
“Everyone talks about the athletes but it is the real ‘sheroes’ and heroes at the grass roots… I just want to let you know how important each and every one of you are [volunteers].” Billie Jean said.