Levelling the playing field

A RE-ELECTED Liberal Government has promised to invest $10 million over two-years into upgrading sporting facilities for girls and women.

This will include the creation of a new ‘Levelling the Playing Field’ grant program, which is targeted at improving girls and women’s access to facilities.

Due to increased female participation numbers, grant priority will be given to facilities used for football and cricket across Tasmania.

Tasmanian Premier and Minister for Sport and Recreation Will Hodgman said applications with matching dollar-for-dollar funding from facility owners would also be looked at more favourably.

This includes Councils and those with additional co-funding from relevant codes, such as AFL Tasmania and Cricket Tasmania.

“This will level the playing field for girls and women, providing for appropriate change-rooms, lockers, toilets, shower facilities and amenities for female officials, coaches and volunteers,” Mr Hodgman said.

“We owe it to Tasmanian girls and women to give them the same opportunities as our boys and men, ensuring they have the best possible chance to succeed in their chosen sport.”

Liberal Candidate for Franklin Claire Chandler said this was an exciting announcement for the Franklin electorate.

“So many of our local sporting clubs have experienced massive booms in women’s participation including AFL, soccer, basketball and cricket, so this is a really welcome investment,” she said.

“Improving facilities will help to boost women’s participation even further, which means more Tasmanian women playing more sport and this can only be a good thing for our community.”

AFL Tasmania reported a 30 per cent increase in women’s participation in 2017 when compared with the previous year, while Cricket Tasmania experienced a 26 per cent increase in 2016/17.

Both AFL Tasmania and Cricket Tasmania have also recently completed audits that showed many facilities utilised for matches were insufficient.

Ms Chandler said she hoped local sports organisations would look closely at how they could take advantage of this announcement.

“Our policy presents a huge opportunity to deliver much-needed investment into facilities that host hundreds, and even thousands, of women and girls each year,” she said.

The competitive grant program will provide for a minimum funding amount of $15,000 and a maximum amount of $1 million per project.

This is to provide for both the building of new facilities and upgrades to existing facilities at community groups across the state.

Applications for grants can be made from April 2018, with two funding rounds over 2018/19 and 2019/20, which will be available to incorporated bodies and not-for-profit sporting organisations.

Caption: Liberal Candidate for Franklin Claire Chandler welcomes the funding announcement for local sporting organisations.