Hannah is leading the pack to get multicultural women into sport

How do you engage young women in sport in the most culturally diverse region in Victoria? Hannah Singleton is working hard to provide opportunities for girls in Melbourne’s west, empowering them through footy and physical activity – and she might just know the answer.

Hannah works as the Youth and Schools Manager within the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation, where she leads delivery of Youth Leadership and Development programs in the community and in schools for more than 700 young people each year.

“Our youth programs are dedicated to shaping our future leaders, supporting young people to join us on a journey to increase self-awareness, social awareness, and ultimately to help make an impact in their community.

An important aspect of my work is empowering young multicultural women to engage in both leadership building activities and physical activity, through our Leaders of the Pack Program,” Hannah said.

The program works with local clubs in various sports, introducing sport to multicultural women in a safe environment and building trust.

“Engaging local sporting clubs is important in ensuring these women build rapport not only with the skills of the sport, but with the local club coaches and leaders. This built trust increases their likelihood of continuing the sport and joining a club.”

Hannah highlighted that a major challenge in engaging young people throughout the west is accessibility to transport and the cost required to participate in community sport.

“We work hard to partner with other like-minded organisations and local councils to fund our programs, enabling us to offer the program for free to our participants and allowing us to organise buses so young people can access the program.

“Another way we overcome the transport barrier is by offering place-based programs, where all of our youth programs are delivered in the local area to the young people are working with,” Hannah said.

Hannah’s region she works in, in Melbourne’s west, has among Australia’s highest rates of people born overseas and is the most culturally diverse area in Victoria, and believes inclusive sporting environments provide broader benefits beyond the sporting field.

“Reflecting diversity throughout our sporting clubs is integral in achieving community cohesion,” Hannah said.

Wednesday 24 May, 2023

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