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Sarah Styles appointed as Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation

Sarah Styles has been appointed to the role as Director of Office for Women in Sport and Recreation in Victoria.

Sarah Styles has been appointed to the role as Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation in Victoria.

Beginning with Sport and Recreation Victoria on May 3, 2021, Styles is a highly experienced and well-credentialed sports administrator, where she becomes a valuable addition as a skilled and respected leader, who has been a driving force behind women and girls getting involved in sport.

Styles has a wealth of experience upon taking up the position, with her background featuring roles as an investment banker, and business owner.

Styles is best renowned for her work with Cricket Australia, where she orchestrated a range of initiatives to increase women and girls’ involvement and inclusion in cricket as the organisation’s inaugural Head of Female Engagement.

Her leadership was highlighted by the historic ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on International Women’s Day last year, as 86,174 fans packed the stands to see Australia defeat India to secure the title.

This incredible attendance showcases the growth of women’s sport over time, with the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand sure to be another fantastic milestone.

More recently Styles has worked as a strategic advisor to Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport on its ‘Women Leading Sport’ initiative, that aims to significantly increase the representation and success of women in leadership positions throughout Australian sport.

She is also a Director of Gender Equity Victoria – Victoria’s peak advocacy body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women.

Styles is the successor to Dr Bridie O’Donnell, who was the first Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation when it was established by the Victorian Government in 2017.

The Office and its Change Our Game plan provides a range of grant and funding programs to support women and girls across all levels of sport and recreation in Victoria.

The Office for Women in Sport and Recreation has also led a world-first board quota policy requiring sport and active recreation organisations funded by Sport and Recreation Victoria and the Victorian Government to comply with the compulsory minimum of 40 per cent consisting of women on boards.

Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Granville & District Soccer Football Association announce brand-new X-League

GDSFA

The Granville & District Soccer Football Association (GDSFA) have announced the creation of a new top tier local Men’s Seniors competition, named the X-League.

Kicking off in March of 2022, the GDSFA will be looking to play 22 rounds of football competition each and every Friday evenings across the Granville Association. In addition, there are a number of exciting initiatives that the organisers have thrown into the mix to assure that this will be one of the most appealing local Senior Men’s competition across NSW.

Such incentives include:

  • Livestream Broadcast & Commentary of ‘Match of the Round’
  • Local officials and talent officiating matches
  • 2 Leagues (X-League 1 and X-League 2)
  • 12 Teams in each league
  • Single Team format of up to 20 players per team
  • Promotion and Relegation
  • Prize Money for Premiers and Champions
  • Season Launch Party with special guest
  • End of Season Player & Team Awards Evening
  • Entry into Australia’s oldest knockout competition “The Cottam Cup”
  • NPL Opportunities
  • ‘Match of the Round’ played at the legendary Melita Stadium home of the Parramatta Eagles FC

Granville & District Soccer FA’s General Manager Scott Sadler was looking forward to the new challenge of this concept, that was struck up with a few local and passionate Club administrators wanting to promote, collaborate and deliver new ways of getting more people interested with the world game.

“Back in May, myself and Joe Bacha (Rydalmere FC’s First Grade Coach) met at a café to catch up and chew the fat over the state of play of GDSFA football,” Sadler said.

“As many will know it’s not been an easy ride for them over the last few years, and Joe wanted to bring some of his observations and ideas on how we could improve our Men’s Premier League given we had gone from having 10 teams in the 2020 season and reduced to six in the 2021 season.

“Rydalmere FC have shown great character in rebuilding their club culture and in turn they have seen the fruits of their labour with a fantastic facility being constructed. We started to get some ideas down on paper and the ball was rolling, but Covid lockdown reared its ugly head for round 2 and so we got stuck into battening down the hatches.

“A working group was eventually formed, and the brainstorming sessions commenced every Wednesday, and are still ongoing looking at how we could make the Men’s Premiership Competition more viable and inclusive for all clubs to get involved.

“It has been great to watch the clubs coming together and collaborating on ideas, and between them they have come up with the concept of the X-League.”

Even though the league will be open to Men’s for the 2022 season, the Association has stated that plans are underway to offer this league concept towards the Women and Youth clubs in the football mad area.

“We are definitely looking at expanding in both the Women’s and Youth sectors once we get the Men’s off the ground in 2022 as that has always been our intention,” they said.

“GDSFA is the OG of football within Australia, we may not have done everything right along the way, but we have helped to shape football in some way shape or form.

“With the X-League, we are wanting to offer grassroots football a high standard of football for a very competitive membership fee, giving value for money for each player involved.”

Football Queensland team up with Queensland University of Technology to deliver programs for players and coaches

Football Queensland have announced a partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), to deliver various coaching courses and social football programs for students.

FQ Women and Girls Participation Officer, Kate Lawson, stated that students completing their studies at QUT can register to undertake a free MiniRoos coaching course on Wednesday, 20 October at QUT Stadium.

“This MiniRoos coaching course is aimed at any QUT students – including international students – who want to begin their coach education journey,” she said.

“There are opportunities opening up for qualified coaches to work with Football Queensland to deliver programs for women and girls, multicultural communities and in schools.

“We know that Queensland universities are home to thousands of football enthusiasts, and we are keen to work with educational institutions across the state to support students and grow the game.

“Beginning next Wednesday, 27 October, students will be able to participate in an eight-week Connecting Through Sport Mixed Multicultural Social Football program.

“I encourage all students to come along and get involved in the MiniRoos coaching course or the social football program.”

Football Queensland’s partnership with the university has come off the back of an informal social football program that has been running at the college since August of last year.

QUT Sport Project Coordinator Michael Jordan said of the partnership: “QUT Sport is delighted to be partnering with Football Queensland to offer a range of social and coaching opportunities for QUT students.

“We are excited about the upcoming coaching course and the Connecting Through Sports program to encourage students to be active, meet new people and learn some new football skills.”

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