20 Jul, 2015 Last updated: 20 Jul, 2015

VicHealth today congratulated the Victorian Government for investing in a new program to encourage more women to participate in sport.

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The Government’s $10 million Female Friendly Facilities program will allow clubs across Victoria to apply for up to $100,000 to build or upgrade female changing rooms. 

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said the program would tackle one of the biggest barriers that prevent women from participating in sport.

"Women are finding it increasingly difficult to get involved in exercise for a variety of reasons – from caring for children to a lack of appropriate facilities for women. This new program will help address the lack of, or poor, changing facilities available for Victorian women so they no longer have to change in temporary facilities or in their cars. 

"I hope clubs across the state will apply for funding to build or upgrade changing rooms. Regular physical activity is one of the most important factors in promoting good health and preventing chronic disease and women and girls deserve the same opportunities as men and boys to be able to participate in sport."

Ms Rechter said women of all ages generally have lower physical activity participation rates than men. 

"Increasing physical activity levels for women is important for health and wellbeing. Next month, VicHealth will be announcing an exciting new investment to get more Victorian women involved in sport. 

"Our 'Changing the Game' program is about getting tens of thousands of Victorian women and girls who are inactive or who rarely exercise to get active more regularly through sport – whether it's through a sports club or in a more informal social way. It’s about creating more opportunities that make it easier for women and girls to participate in sport," Ms Rechter added.

The Female Friendly Facilities program is part of the Government’s $100 million Community Sports Infrastructure Fund, which includes upgrading cricket grounds and grassroots training facilities and aquatic centres. Applications are now open. For more information or to apply online, visit www.sport.vic.gov.au.

Media Contact: Helen Walsh, Senior Media Advisor, 03 9667 1319 or 0435 761 732 or email [email protected].