With the recent growth in female sport, it is clear that there is a need to provide more female friendly sporting facilities across Australia that enable, facilitate and retain participation by women and girls. Research tells us that some young people perceive football clubs are not for them. Providing an enjoyable and welcoming environment during the first visit is paramount to helping women and girls feel connected – this is vital to ensuring new players return.
Equal access to facilities that support and enhance participation is critical for women’s sports at all levels, from grassroots through to elite. Not only are the facilities vital, but also the policies and procedures to ensure the club culture is focused on equal and fair access.
Having female friendly sporting clubs sends an important message to all females, that they are welcome in their chosen sport, and that their club’s culture is one that will facilitate and support their participation. Talking to women in your club, and other women, about how you can make your facilities more female-friendly will help you to identify areas for improvement within your sport’s facilities, activities and communications. It is important to recognise that all women are different – for example, you should consider women with a disability, from diverse communities or older adults who want to participate in your sport.
The utilisation of these considerations in planning female friendly facilities will demonstrate a commitment to female participation in sport.
Consider some of the following -
• Female players have equal access to the facilities and equipment and are not allocated late evening time slots for training or always the second’s ground
• Gym equipment is suitable for use by females such as availability of light weights
• Change rooms have lockable doors on cubicles (or shower curtains)
• Club facilities are clean and hygienically presented, not expecting women to clean them
• Sanitary disposal bin placed in every toilet
• Adequate lighting in the car park
• Invite women and girls to provide input into how to improve facilities
• Operate ‘buddy’ system to ensure all female participants get to their cars at night after training and social functions
Some good references for female friendly facilities can be found at the following links: