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Investing in our Female Sporting Leaders

More than 300 women from across 43 sports will be directly involved in the 2019 Women Leaders in Sport program, with successful applicants announced on Sunday by Minister for Sport Bridget McKenzie and Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer.

Among the recipients are six women who are or have been involved with the Australian rowing community. Receiving individual grants for specific courses are Rowing Australia High Performance Pathway Manager, Naomi Wagstaff, and Rowing WA Board Director and Executive Officer of the Public Schools Association Verity Keogh. Four women from the rowing world have been invited to attend individual workshops – New South Wales-based rowing coaches Katrina Davis and Chloe Congdon, Rowing Australia Communications and Government Relations Manager, Lucy Benjamin and former Australian Rowing Team doctor, Dr Pip Inge (who now works with Cricket).

The Women Leaders in Sport program, a partnership between Sport Australia and the Office for Women, was established in 2002 and continues to develop the leadership potential of female coaches, officials and administrators.

Minister McKenzie said it was positive to see the rising recognition of female athletes and teams on Australia’s sporting landscape, and programs such as Women Leaders in Sport ensured females will continue to have opportunities to progress in non-playing roles.

“The rising profile of female athletes, teams and leagues is vital for promoting sporting role models, who help to inspire and motivate young girls to be active,” Minister McKenzie said.

“It has been an amazing week for our female athletes with the Southern Stars winning the T20 Cricket World Cup; surfer Stephanie Gilmore becoming world champion for an incredible seventh time and whitewater canoeing champion Jessica Fox named as NSW Sports Athlete of the Year.

“These examples, supported by the Women Leaders in Sport program, will help women aspire and progress to leadership positions in the sporting industry whether that’s as a coach, official or administrator.

“The successful recipients include experienced administrators like Head of the Women’s National Basketball League Sally Phillips through to athletes like Australian cyclist Rachel Neylan looking at potential beyond competition.

“The rich diversity of Australian sport is symbolised by the variety of sports involved in next year’s Women Leaders in Sport program, so many sports from Archery and Athletics through to Weightlifting and Yachting.

“The national reach of this program is also represented by grants to sporting organisations across the country, including bodies such as Gymnastics NSW, Life Saving Victoria, Queensland Cricket Association, Netball SA and Basketball WA.

“Every Australian state or territory, from metropolitan and rural areas, will have participants involved in the 2019 Women Leaders in Sport program.”

Minister O’Dwyer said the Coalition Government would continue to work towards improving gender diversity across all industries, including sport.

“We know that the different perspectives women bring can have a positive impact on all industries and sport is no exception,” O’Dwyer said.

“Women Leaders in Sport program has had a long and lasting impact, reaching more than 24,000 women since its inception in 2002.”

“As a sport loving nation, we want Australia’s female athletes to be the best they can be.”

Total grants of almost $244,000 will be distributed to 60 individuals and 10 organisations to assist women with their professional development. In addition to the 60 individual grant recipients, more than 110 more women will also be invited to attend leadership workshops staged around the country.

A full list of recipients is available here.