With International Women’s Day just around the corner, this morning marked the launch of Active Women: UNSW 2025 Women’s Sport and Active Recreation Strategy – the first of its kind among Australian universities. In line with the University’s 2025 Strategy that highlights Social Impact as a strategic priority through setting an international exemplar of gender balance and inclusion, the UNSW Active Women Strategy is rooted in addressing the inequality and inequity towards women that is particularly prominent in sport, and ensuring that access to sport and active recreation within the university context is fair, equitable and inclusive for all.
The goals of the Strategy are separated into four pillars:
- Increase women’s participation in sport and active recreation at UNSW
- Secure funding to develop the strategy and to make places and spaces on campus more inclusive and inducive to women’s participation
- Increase visibility of female students and staff in sport and active recreation on campus
- Increase the number of women in leadership, coaching and officiating positions on and off the field and develop inclusive sporting cultures among our UNSW clubs and communities
A Student Representative will shortly be appointed onto the Executive Team of the Strategy to amplify the student voice throughout the implementation and execution in the next few years. In addition, Arc Sport staff and UNSW Sport Clubs Executive were heavily involved in the reviewing of key documents to develop the Strategy and were a key contributor to the review of the draft Strategy prior to its finalisation, providing crucial insights into the needs of all students.
Sarah Dawes, Sport Clubs Coordinator at Arc Sport has been appointed onto the Executive Team, playing an important role in ensuring that the Strategy is delivered successfully and advocating for putting students first. She is excited for Arc to continue reducing the barriers to women’s participation, and to champion the delivery of ‘Pillar 1: Participation’ with the goal to increase women’s participation in sport by 100% by 2025 – from 5,000 to 10,000.
“Arc Sport is proud to be a leader in providing UNSW students the opportunity for increased participation in women’s sport and active recreation. This strategy is underpinned by an inclusive sporting culture that embraces and drives change in the UNSW sporting community.”
Aligning with the Active Women Strategy, Arc’s SHE CAN will kick off for its third year in Week 6 this term. SHE CAN empowers women to skill up in sport, working to break down the fear of judgement that often prevents students from engaging in physical activity through offering a wide range of beginner sessions in an inclusive, safe and comfortable environment. Arc has also been involved in the improvement of sporting facilities on campus, with the transformation of Village Green, the home of sport on campus, already underway. The Village Green Wellness Precinct will feature more flexible offerings and active recreation spaces to foster a welcoming space that prioritises fair match scheduling for women and men, both formal and informal sports and the diversity of the UNSW community. In the meantime, Alumni Lawn is the temporary home of sport at UNSW (Kensington campus), with beginner Learn to Play sessions and social sport running weekly.