Researching Barriers Facing Women and Girls in Sport

Four research projects across four universities have been successful in applying for funding under the 2021-22 Change Our Game Research Grants Program.

The Program supports Victorian researchers with grants of up to $25,000 to carry out ground-breaking studies relating to women and girls in sport and active recreation. Since the Program was established in 2018, 10 projects with grants totaling more than $200,000 have been provided.

The Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, Sarah Styles, said, “The Change Our Game Research Grants Program has made a real difference to participation, and I look forward to seeing these four new projects further contribute to encourage more women and girls to get out there and get active.”

One of the successful grants is going to Victoria University, to investigate potential biases held by young people towards women in coaching and officiating roles. Led by Research Team Leader Kara Dadswell, the study will look at the attitudes of a cross-sample of young people, and their parents or guardians from across Victoria.

The project will provide recommendations to improve existing attitudes by targeting the most influential factors that led to the development of those attitudes. Findings will be rolled out to peak bodies to inform their clubs.

Kara Dadswell said, “Issues facing women coaching or officiating in sport have become very topical in recent months which makes our study all the more relevant. We’re very grateful for the support to make our research possible.”

Previous studies have had a significant impact on the sector, such as research by Victoria University into barriers for participation which found certain types of uniforms were often uncomfortable and discouraged girls from continuing to play sport. This has led to many clubs now providing greater flexibility in uniforms, so women and girls feel more comfortable wearing them and are more likely to participate and keep playing.

Monday 20 June, 2022

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