31 Jan, 2017 Last updated: 31 Jan, 2017

Health promotion foundation VicHealth launched a new campaign today at Etihad Stadium, encouraging all Victorians to get behind women’s sport and support gender equality.

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VicHealth has brought together teams from the AFLW, Women’s Big Bash League and Women's National Basketball League to raise the profile of women’s sport.

Athletes who have pledged to support the #ChangeOurGame campaign include Melbourne Demons marquee player Daisy Pearce, Australian cricket star Meg Lanning, Carlton captain Lauren Arnell, cricketers Gemma Triscari and Molly Strano, basketballers Lauren Jackson and Maddie Garrick and former Australian Diamonds Captain and Melbourne Stars board member Sharelle McMahon.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and Minister for Sport John Eren have thrown their support behind the campaign.

Minister Hennessy said: “Participation in sport and physical activity is the key to better health and wellbeing. Our female sporting heroes will inspire more women and girls to get involved in grassroots sport.”

Minister Eren said: “It’s simple – women deserve the exact same opportunities on the sports field as men. Whether it’s basketball, football or cricket, female athletes play a really exciting brand, and we should all get behind it.”

One of the key objectives of the campaign is to drive support and viewership of female athletes, according to VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter.

“Women across Victoria play vital roles in sports leadership, in the media and as athletes. If we want to raise strong, empowered, independent girls, then we have to better promote these female role models,” she said.

“Help us by following women’s sport online, watch it on TV, go to a game and tell your friends.”

VicHealth #ChangeOurGame ambassador Meg Lanning said she had noticed a lot of improvements over the last five years.

“We’re heading in the right direction and it’s only going to keep improving,” she said.

“With more women in sport than ever before, our game is changing but we still need to do more, we all need to work together to change our game for the better.”

As part of its work to change Victorian attitudes, VicHealth has also today announced $7 million of new funding over the next three years for its Advancing Gender Equality in Sport for Women and Girls program.

The #ChangeOurGame program will build on VicHealth’s work over the past five years in gender equality in sport, and looks to partner with sporting organisations to create new participation opportunities to engage less active females and raise the profile of women in sport.

 

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For more information on the VicHealth #ChangeOurGame campaign or for interview opportunities with ambassadors please contact:

Caitlin Carey |E: CaitlinC@thisismango.com.au | P: 0400 735 130

Rebekah Fanner | E: RebekahF@thisismango.com.au | P: 0430 531 311


Note to Editor:

Figures from the 2016 VicHealth Community Attitudes Survey

(The sample size was 2088 Victorians, aged 18+)

  • Nearly three quarters of Victorians (73%) agreed that female sport role models motivate women and girls to get physically active
  • Over three-in-five agreed that ‘females in elite sport should get the same pay as men in elite sport’
  • Just over half (53%) agreed that ‘females should be in leadership positions…in typically male dominated sports’.