Ensuring equitable access to sports facilities  

Girls sports team

Whittlesea council endorsed a policy to ensure gender-equitable access to community sports facilities and infrastructure.  

The fair access policy has been developed in response to the state government’s fair access in sport policy Roadmap, which requires all councils to endorse a policy by July 1. 

The policy addresses barriers faced by people who identify as women, girls, and gender-diverse in accessing and using community sports and recreation facilities.

The policy was endorsed following an online community survey and consultations with key stakeholders, including sporting clubs and the City of Whittlesea Youth Council.

Council’s chair administrator Lydia Wilson said she recognise the importance of the policy in providing equal access to the council’s facilities for everyone.

“Sport is a vital part of our culture and identity, offering physical and mental health benefits, and fostering a sense of belonging and community connection. This policy aims to enhance the experiences of women, girls, and underrepresented groups in local sports and create fair, inclusive, and safe spaces for all,” she said.

“The invaluable feedback received from the community, stakeholders and the youth council, is crucial in shaping how council will work with local sports clubs to create a plan for implementing the policy. This includes offering education and training on how to put the policy into action.”

Whittlesea youth council mayor Zachary Melvaine welcomed the opportunity to provide feedback and the importance of the policy.

“The youth council was pleased to provide feedback and align with the vision and aim of this policy. We believe it will significantly impact our young people in local sports, fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment,” he said

Sports clubs are required to participate in gender equity audits, complete education modules and create action plans to increase the involvement of women and girls as players, coaches and committee members.

Council will provide training on equity, safe environments and action planning.

Details: engage.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/fair-access.