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Grant program helps women leaders thrive in sport

31 August 2022

Australia's next female sporting CEOs can kick off their administration careers through $370,000 worth of grants in the Women Leaders in Sport initiative.

Applications are now open for the program which has provided leadership opportunities for more than 20 years and created continued success from the boardroom to the sporting arena.

Sporting organisations can also apply for grants for projects that create more leadership pathways for women and more diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Minister for Sport Anika Wells said hundreds of emerging female leaders would benefit from the program’s $370,000 in grants.

“You can’t be what you can’t see, and it is clear this program is creating a culture of valuing gender equity,” Minister Wells said.

“WLIS isn’t just helping change today’s sporting landscape, it’s opening doors for generations to come.

“We need young girls to see themselves as CEO’s at sporting organisations and clubs.”

WLIS is managed by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) with support from the Office for Women and funded through the Australian Government’s Women’s Leadership and Development Program.

ASC CEO Kieren Perkins OAM said WLIS had helped strengthen the role of women leaders in sport for more than two decades.

“Since 2002, WLIS has supported more than 26,000 women and 800 sport organisations. We have also expanded the opportunities provided through WLIS over the past 12 months with more than 500 women across 34 sports progressing their careers,” Mr Perkins said.

“We are proud of this program which is driving positive social change and championing equal representation in sport.”

Previous grant recipients include Karen Townsend who described the leadership training as gratifying.

“It was fulfilling to share, learn and engage with others in such a supportive environment. I’d like to thank my previous employer Hockey NSW for supporting my application. The training I received has given me the confidence to lead change in my new role at Equestrian Australia,” she said.

Rowing Australia used its grant for a project aimed at increasing the number of women in high performance coaching positions in the sport.

“We could not have run this project without the support of a WLIS grant,” Rowing Australia Chief Operating Officer Sarah Cook said.

“We look forward to continuing to work together to make positive and lasting change in this space and create a sporting system where there is gender equality and representation at all levels of sport.”

Individuals and organisations have until 23 September 2022 to apply.

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