The Australian Federal Government has announced an investment of $3.1 million over two years to encourage greater participation of women and girls in football, to expand the MiniRoos for Girls Program (for girls aged 6-12 years) and the Girls 12+ Football Your Way Engagement Experience Program.
In Tuesday’s Federal Budget, the Government emphasised the importance of maximising the social, economic and sporting outcomes of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™ – the single largest women’s sporting event in the world – and the unique opportunity it presents to leverage significant legacy initiatives.
The funding forms part of Football Australia’s ambitious Legacy ’23 plan to deliver enduring benefits as a result of co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™, including gender parity by 2027, which would see an additional 400,000 female participants.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson acknowledged and thanked the Federal Government for their continued support of Football Australia and Legacy ’23.
“Football Australia has undertaken extensive planning and modelling for Legacy ’23 and we are thrilled that the Federal Government have reviewed these plans and continue to show their support for the growth and development of our game at all levels, but particularly at the grassroots,” Johnson said.
“Widely recognised as Australia’s largest club-base community sport, we are also determined to become the centre of women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region. This funding will ensure we can continue this journey of transformation and provide more women and girls with access to football – on and off the pitch – in the lead up to and beyond the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, which is now just 16 months away.”
Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck, added:
“This will be the largest ever women’s sporting event and it is a privilege for Australia to co-host the event with New Zealand,” he said.
“The event will strengthen Australia’s world-class reputation as a global leader in women’s sport and is part of a green and gold decade of major sporting events to be hosted in our country.
“The Federal Government’s $3.1 million investment in FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 legacy programs will be critical to ensuring community level football around Australia is further strengthened particularly with more women and girls participating and engaged.”
This recent commitment to assisting in driving the future growth of women’s football at the grassroots level follows last year’s backing of Football Australia’s National Club Development Program as well as High Performance to the tune of $12 million.
In 2019, after the eighth edition of the tournament in France, football participation grew by more than 850,000.
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