Building strong women through sport

By Jamie Salter

Sport Australia and Suncorp are teaming up to build a nation of more confident girls through a connection with sport.

Almost half of all girls aged between 15 and 17 stop playing sport, according to a Suncorp Australian Youth and Confidence Survey.

The survey results prompted Suncorp to initiate the Team Girls program with Netball Australia in 2017, to try and decrease the drop-out rate.

Team Girls is now being expanded to all sports in partnership with Federal Government agency Sport Australia.

Sport Australia acting chief executive officer Rob Dalton said it was critical to increase opportunities for all girls to participate in and enjoy sport.

“There’s so much more to sport than physical health benefits, it has the ability to build confidence, self-esteem, teamwork, communication, social skills, leadership, goal-setting and resilience,” Mr Dalton said.

“Sport Australia’s AusPlay research shows girls and women are actually as active as boys and men, but they tend to move away from sport in their mid-teens in favour of exercise and gym-type activities.”

Mr Dalton said the rise in prominence of women’s sport at an elite level showed young girls that sport was for them.

“In the next three years we have the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup of Basketball in Sydney and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup,” he said.

“This presents a powerful opportunity to help connect girls to sport in a very strong way.”

Suncorp chief executive officer Steve Johnston said as the country continued to rally behind the rise of women’s sport in Australia, now was the perfect time to encourage girls towards sport.

“Team sports can have an incredible impact on building a young person’s confidence — we have seen this firsthand through our support for the Suncorp Super Netball and Team Girls program,” Mr Johnston said.

“Now with the support of Sport Australia, we want every girl across every sport to feel part of Team Girls.

“Team Girls is all about harnessing the confidence built through team sports and encouraging a positive community where girls feel supported, confident and connected with their sporting community.”

Visit Suncorp’s Team Girls site at: