The Equalizer.

Six sporting clubs have been invited to be to take part in a research project, focusing on gender equality. The project is run by EqualPlay, and will involve research undertaken through Victoria University.

EqualPlay is a not-for-profit Hobsons Bay group, working towards a natural equality within grassroots sporting clubs. Natural equality will mean everyone will have an opportunity to play sport and feel welcome in any club. Fellow club members, while acknowledging each other’s differences, whether it be gender, ethnicity, physical or mental abilities, will celebrate their club’s diversity.

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EqualPlay’s initial task is gender equality. The first phase is a launch, which will include an exhibition of stories and photographs of women and girls, recounting their experiences playing sport, both positive and challenging.

The local clubs involved are Williamstown Congs Cricket Club, Barnstoneworth Soccer Club, Altona Hockey Club, Newport Ladies Lacrosse Club, Spotswood Cricket Club and Laverton Magpies Football Club. This group of clubs varies in its membership. There are girls and women teams, those with only male teams, and those with only female teams. These differences will help the researchers understand what it is that women and girls want in a sporting club. EqualPlay will use the research to formulate and implement a model into clubs, known as the “Female Friendly Framework.”

To create awareness of the project EqualPlay will be holding an exhibition of approximately 30 stories, from girls or women who have encountered both positive and challenging events in their sporting world. The stories will be accompanied by a professional photograph of the storyteller. It will initially be on display at Hobsons Bay City Council Chambers, from the 1st of December.

If you, or someone you know has a story to tell, please contact EqualPlay via private message through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/equalplay/ or email to play@equalplay.com.au

Jenny Robinson

*Please note: stories will be kept confidential if requested, and nobody is obliged to take part in the photographic exhibition if they do not wish to.

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