Football Federation Victoria (FFV) took a major step to Change our Game for women and girls with a successful Women in Football Forum held at AAMI Park last week with the theme "Matildas Growing Grassroots".
FFV and Football Federation Australia (FFA) supported by the Victorian State Government held the two-day forum which featured some of the country's most influential figures in sport as presenters.
The forum objective was to "change the game" by increasing participation for women, girls and multicultural communities at all levels of sport. Presenters and dedicated FFV staff provided attending Victorian clubs with resources and information to actively recruit new people to get involved in The World Game.
250 guests attended the forum, from Clubs, Councils, Government and other stakeholders committed to investing and improving accessibility to playing football.
All Victorian football Clubs were invited to send representatives to the forum, with the majority taking up the offer.
FFV is determined to ensure the learnings and legacy of the forum include 50/50 Female to Male participation in Victorian football by 2023, achieved by;
- Every Victorian Club without a female football program or team, undertakes the steps to start a program. This can include ALDI MiniRoos Kickoff, ALDI MiniRoos, Juniors, Seniors, Women's Metro Sevens or new initiative Soccer Mums.
- Every Victorian Club with an existing female football program seeks to increase its female participation through improved retention of existing players and attracting new players.
- Clubs with capacity to increase participation build their club on the fundamentals discussed at the forum to attract and retain female players
- Clubs at participation capacity seek to develop their club in a way that provides equality in participation, facility access and Club Governance among other fundamentals discussed at the forum
FFV staff will continue working to ensure the legacy of the forum and adherence to the aims of the above.
Football was recently found to have consolidated its place as Australia's largest club-based participation sport by the Australian Sports Commission's AusPlay survey.
The largest survey of its kind ever undertaken in Australia, AusPlay found 1,152,444 people play football, 18% of the nation's population and well ahead of Golf (751,766) in second.
Quotes Attributable to FFV President Kimon Taliadoros
"Our objective is to achieve a 50/50 participation rate between men and women by 2023. We (FFV) will be applying ourselves to do all we can to make it happen along with all our colleagues and partners at the FFA and of course in Clubs.
"Football doesn't exist without Clubs. Clubs are where the players go, Clubs are where the players play, and Clubs are where the families and communities congregate.
"A critical part of growing the game and ensuring women have the same opportunity as men, is ensuring that those clubs allow them to also feel comfortable and enjoy the benefits of being part of The Beautiful Game.
"We're becoming conscious of our unconscious bias, and that's a great thing.
"Because of football's natural characteristics it lends itself to boys and girls equally. It also is the universal language, which means it lends itself to every single community around the world and is a key part of the successful multicultural society that we have here in Victoria.
"Football's role in Victorian society is important, and that's why our responsibility to lead the development and growth of women's and girls' football is an important one for FFV."