Are improvements in pay in women’s sport, such as the Matildas’ recent success, influencing the participation of girls in physical activity at school? Staff and students at St Francis Xavier College in ACT speak out, Sue Osborne writes.
Kelly Candy, Physical Education teacher, said: “I feel, every time an opportunity opens up for women to play sport at the highest level, for example, WBBL, WAFL and Super Netball, girls are lifted and know there are more opportunities for them. The win for the Matilda’s is a win for all women, especially young women. I believe it will influence participation at a school level as it is becoming more socially acceptable for girls to play a wide range of sports and with a career pathway visible, it can only encourage more girls to play the sport they love”.
Samantha Stevens, Health and Physical Education Coordinator, said: “These improvements to women’s sport must be having a positive impact on girls participating in sports. I remember speaking to a group of Year 9 girls a few years ago and discussing how exciting it is that professional sport is a viable option for these students. And to have Maggie Gorham selected in the AFLW draft just shows what some of our students are capable of”.