Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will announce a $200 million investment in women’s sport following the Matildas’ run to the World Cup semi-finals.
The “Play Our Way” program will aim to improve sports facilities and equipment specifically for women and girls.
Mr Albanese said the Matildas, alongside the Diamonds and Wallaroos, had captured the hearts of the nation and “changed Australian sport forever”, and that this momentum should “ripple through generations”.
“The Matildas have given us a moment of national inspiration. It is about seizing this opportunity for the next generation, investing in community sports facilities for women and girls across Australia,” Mr. Albanian.
“We want women and girls everywhere in Australia to have the facilities and support to choose a sport they love.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will announce the ‘Play Our Way’ program on Saturday morning, aimed at improving sports facilities and equipment specifically for women and girls
The Matildas will play for third place on Saturday night. Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP
Sports Minister Anika Wells said the $200 million would be spent to help the “next generation” of female athletes enjoy safer sports facilities.
“Too often, women and girls change in the men’s room, wear boys’ uniforms, play with men’s equipment on poor pitches where boys’ teams wouldn’t practice,” he said. she declared.
The program will be available for all sports, but given that football is the country’s busiest sport – with around 1.5 million players nationwide – it is expected that it will require “significant resources following the Matildas’ impressive campaign.
Beau Busch, co-chief executive of Australian Professional Footballers said one-time “sweetshots” of milestone event funding were a very important part of the strategy moving forward, but highlighted the funding needed to trickle down.
“What we need to be moving towards is that level of sustained, consistent investment from government that can allow us to make continuous progress, rather than the kind of big, one-off investments in major, major events.” , added Mr. Busch.
“But what we also need to do is ensure that constant investment so that we can create great professional leagues, as well as a very good grassroots experience.”
Millions across Australia watched the Matildas World Cup race
Australians young and old have jumped on the bandwagon over the past month, captured by the history and success of the Matildas – who play for third place in the World Cup on Saturday against Sweden.
More than 7 million Australians tuned in to the semi-final clash on Seven – a figure that doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands who flocked to stadiums, pubs and live venues across the country. country.
Only 15 tournament matches were streamed on free-to-air TV, while the other 49 were only accessible via Optus Sport, many of which were behind a paywall.
The government has delivered on its commitment to tackle siphoning, saying free access to important events is important and the program needs to be modernized to include online services to ‘mitigate the risk of events slipping behind paywalls’ “.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland will release three reform models to consider for modernizing the anti-siphon device on Saturday.
“Every Australian deserves the chance to enjoy free, live coverage of these events, no matter where they live or what they earn,” she said.
The government’s preferred model says free-to-air services are the ‘safety net’ for free access to ‘nationally and culturally significant sporting events for all Australians’.
This would prevent streaming and online services, as well as subscription TV broadcasters, from acquiring the rights to cover an event on the list until a free-to-air broadcaster has the right to televise the event.
Ms Rowland said such reforms would “bring online services into the regulatory framework and broaden the range of events on the roster to include more women’s sports and para-sports”.
The three reform options to be offered will include men’s and women’s rugby league, rugby union, cricket and football matches which involve the addition of a senior Australian representative team to the roster.
Feedback on the proposals document will inform the development of legislation to modernize the scheme and the list, which will be presented to parliament in the coming months.