Champions of the West are working with sports affiliated groups, local community clubs, professional athletes, and club administration to harness the influence of football in Melbourne’s west and improve the lives of women, girls and gender diverse people in sports culture.
GenWest, The Western Bulldogs and Women’s Health Grampians (partnership project Champions of the West) are working with sports affiliated groups to improve the lives of women, girls and gender diverse people in sports culture. Champions of the West are working with local community clubs, professional athletes, and club administration to harness the influence of football in Melbourne’s west.
The project aims to share messages that create inclusive, safe, and respectful sporting clubs and encourage a culture of gender equality to contribute to healthier communities and prevent gender-based violence.
GenWest’s Workforce Capacity Building Project team has been leading and coordinating a range of capacity building activities with the Western Bulldogs and the Western Region Football League (WRFL).
To support holistic messaging about advancing gender equality in a highly masculinised sector, they’ve recruited training partners from Safe and Equal and The Men’s Project (Jesuit Social Services) to co-design training modules for a range of cohorts from the Western Bulldogs and WRFL.
The first training session was held Thursday the 3rd of August in the company of 100 umpires aged 10 to 80 years old. The group consisted mostly of men, with one young woman and one older woman.
The group listened and learned about the types of acts of violence that have been encouraged in the culture of sports and the sexist attitudes and rigid stereotypes women face in those environments.
Tess, our Health Promotion Project Coordinator, received feedback from many of the umpires about seeing the importance of their work. The group was eager to learn more about supporting women and girls in umpiring.
We look forward to continuing this work.