Football Australia launches new #EQUALISER campaign

Football Australia today launched the #EQUALISER campaign, an initiative supporting the ‘Community Facilities’ Pillar of its Legacy 23’ Plan, to deliver adequate female-friendly facilities across the country.

It comes after a new Football Australia survey of its registered participants revealed that 65% of respondents said political commitments to fund improved football facilities in their community would influence their vote at the upcoming Federal Election.

Football is flourishing across Australia with more than two million participants and, in just over a year, more than one billion fans worldwide will be watching as Australia and New Zealand host the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023TM.

More than 6,000 people responded to the survey. Nearly two-thirds of all respondents said commitments to improve local facilities in their region, or at their club, would favourably influence their vote.

Further, as little as 8% of respondents also believe football actually receives a fair-share of government funding, compared to other sports.

A new Football Australia report has revealed that only 35% of football facilities across Australia are currently categorised as being female-friendly or gender-neutral.

To shine a spotlight on the urgent need for female-friendly facilities, and to celebrate where progress is being made, Football Australia, in partnership with its State and Territory Member Federations, has established the #EQUALISER campaign.

Several Ambassadors have joined the #EQUALISER team to advocate for change, including Stephanie Brantz and Tara Rushton.

James Johnson, Football Australia CEO explains:

“We are determined to be the centre of women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region and have achieved some significant milestones in the ‘High Performance’ and ‘Participation’ Pillars of our Legacy 23’ Plan since its launch in February 2021,” he said.

“The #EQUALISER campaign has the capacity to change female football across the nation in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023TM. Female-friendly facilities are not a privilege, they are a basic and fundamental need in offering women and girls a safe and comfortable environment in which to prepare for and recover from their sporting endeavours.

“With an anticipated 400,000 new women and girl’s targeted to play football over the next 5 years, Football Australia and the wider football community are highlighting a genuine need and looking to all governments to deliver an #EQUALISER for female football.”

The goal of #EQUALISER is for all football facilities to be equal, promoting equivalent services and access. Facilities will need to meet a minimum criterion defined by Football Australia and verified through an annual national facilities audit. Each facility will then be assigned an appropriate level of accreditation.

For the past five years, the participation of women and girls in football has been experiencing double-digit growth every year. Global experience and past trends show that by hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023TM will turbo-charge female participation in Australia. This aligns with Football Australia’s gender parity target of equal playing numbers by 2027, which in reality means the current infrastructure needs to have the capacity and capability to provide for another 400,000 new female players leading into and post the event.

Football Australia and the Member Federations have developed a list of facilities across electorates which are in urgent need of upgrades.

With the Federal Election imminent, Football Australia is calling on all sides of politics to deliver funding commitments to assist #EQUALISER in achieving its goal.

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Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

The biggest Female Football Week to date draws to a close

Female Football week is at its climax across the country with each respective state firmly involved in what has been a monumental year of growth and perseverance with one of the hottest topics amongst the sporting plethora across the nation.

Symbolising the significant strides in which female football has made down under, off the back of its maiden World Cup hosting tenure.

Football Queensland throughout the grand occasion were busy shining a spotlight upon the continuous growth of participation, encouraging women of all ages to become involved and immersed within the global game.

Football Victoria – Commentary

Football Victoria (FV) celebrated women’s football week in style.

Round 8 of the National Premier League Women’s (NPLW) competition within Victoria was unique throughout its coverage, with every match throughout the round featuring a female commentator.

A monumental feat spearheaded by the FV Commentary team, this was the first time an all female commentary round was executed.

Football Queensland

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci disclosed his appreciation for the momentous occasion via the FQ website.

“While celebrations like FFW serve as a crucial milestone in FQ’s journey towards achieving 50/50 gender parity by 2027 and helps to further reinforce our commitment to enhancing accessibility and inclusivity, our support is not confined to this week, as we remain dedicated to prioritising our female football community year-round.”

Football Queensland – Award Ceremony

Paying homage to Referees, Club Volunteers, Players and Community Champions of the year was conducted through awards up for grabs.

FQ showcased an award ceremony towards multiple facets of football throughout the state.

A nice incentive dedicated to the recognition and appraisal of the hard work undertaken by different areas of football.

The Female Football Week club of the year was awarded to Central Football Club following their extraordinary contribution to female football within Queensland.

Displayed throughout the clubs commitment to female football, the club are fully dedicated to the advancement of women’s football.

Harvesting a fostering environment throughout the club, alongside the nourishment of young promising female footballers has been symbolised by FQ.

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