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Office of Sport

Women in sport strategy development

Participation in sport at any level from grassroots to high performance contributes to healthy and active living. Women and girls who participate in sport can realise significant physical, psychological and social benefits.

"Girls worldwide who play sport are more likely to attend and stay in school, more likely to finish their education, more likely to be in better health and earn higher wages during the course of their lives.”

- The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO

The women’s sport landscape has changed significantly in recent years. Women in Australian sport are shining brighter than ever with unprecedented media coverage and broadcasting deals boosting their profile and giving rise to female sporting heroes. 

Our women are winning the hearts and minds of a new fan base and inspiring young girls across the country. Now is the time to shape the women's sport agenda to realise the health, commercial and societal benefits of increasing female engagement as participants, fans, role models and decision makers.

Her Sport Her Way has been developed following stakeholder consultation to drive powerful change for women and girls in sport in NSW, leaving a legacy for the way women’s sport is played, led, promoted and consumed. The four-year strategy features 29 initiatives aiming to increase women’s and girls' participation as players, leaders and coaches, improve facilities, and attract more investment and recognition for women’s sport.

Her Sport Her Way affirms the NSW Government’s commitment to empower women and girls to have full access to opportunity and choice, be valued for their diversity, be recognised for their contribution, and be able to participate in all aspects of life freely and safely.

Her Sport Her Way reflects an insights driven approach (her sport) and pathway opportunities (her way) to shape the future of women’s sport in NSW.

View Her Sport Her Way (PDF, 19.3MB)

Strategy development

The strategy development process involved consultations with a diverse group of almost 800 stakeholders, a global evidence review by the University of Sydney and media analysis.

Six stakeholder engagement events were conducted:

Date Event Resources
19 October 2017 Unleashing the Value of Women in Sport

Forum report (PDF, 775.98 KB)

Event video

6 March 2018 International Women’s Day 2018 – Sport Leaders Breakfast  Event video
13 March 2018 Places and Spaces Workshop  
15 March 2018 Leadership and Culture Workshop  Agenda (PDF, 417.94 KB)
27 March 2018 Connecting values, purpose and investment

Agenda (PDF, 591.39 KB)

1 May 2018 Participation Workshop Agenda (PDF, 521.63 KB)

The consultations reinforced the view that for women's sport to be successful and sustainable we need to fundamentally rethink, through a female lens, the way that sport is delivered, coached, marketed, led, sponsored and consumed.   

This insight has guided the development of the strategy.

Consultation outcomes


The top priorities for NSW Government identified by stakeholders during these stakeholder engagement workshops were:

Dedicated funding
  • Invest in female friendly activities
  • Attract female events to NSW
  • Resource the sector to innovate
Governance and policy
  • Increase women in leadership positions on and off the field
  • Recognize and profile good practice across NSW
  • Link funding to gender inclusive guiding principles
Capability development
  • Provide research, data insights and tools to build capability across sectors to innovate, leverage investment, and drive culture change
  • Support key influencers (coaches, teachers, parents, peers) to inspire and empower women and girls to participate
  • Leverage and measure return on investment
New and innovative partnerships
  • Provide a platform for connecting brands, investors and sports looking to grow the game for women and girls
  • Consider a more sophisticated and collaborative approach to sponsorship
  • Lead communication strategy to leverage existing state and national campaigns, bridge gaps and grow profile and visibility, drive consistent messaging and empower young girls

Strategy focus

Comprising a framework of initiatives across four strategic pillars of Participation, Places and Spaces, Leveraging Investment and Leadership, the strategy aims to remove barriers and improve participation of women and girls across all levels and roles in sport in NSW.

The focus of each pillar is:

  1. Participation: Increase the number of women and girls playing sport and enjoying the experience
  2. Leveraging investment: Maximise investment in women’s sport across the sporting sector, corporate sector, media, social media and government
  3. Places and spaces: Lead, guide, inform and invest in the provision of sport facilities that support women and girls
  4. Leadership: Support the sector to increase the number of women in leadership positions on and off the field, and develop inclusive sporting cultures

Further information

Clearinghouse for Sport is an excellent resource on women's sport, including statistics, barriers, enablers, Australian and international initiatives and more. Registration is free.

The Women's Game for the latest women's sports news.

Women and Girls in Sport, Active Recreation and Physical Activity: A Participation Review, SPRINTER Research Group 2018 (PDF, 1.95 MB)

HSBC Women in Sport survey (2017) (PDF, 111.98 KB)


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