Kasey Symons 1:23
Hello, everyone, um, well, we've got 44 people in already we've got some keen beans, which is exciting. I'm Kasey Symons. I'll be hosting this session today, but we'll just wait a couple more minutes to let a few more people in. We actually sold out of this event. So it's so exciting to say that we'll get close to 100 today, so we'll just wait for a few more people. Thanks for your patience and we'll get started soon.
Popi Sotiriadou 2:16
Okay, we've just hit 50 people. Hello, everyone.
Kasey Symons 2:19
Thanks for coming. We'll get started with the formal presentation in just a moment. We'll just give it a little bit more time. Probably will start at 12:05. Maybe just one more minute.
Kasey Symons 3:11
Okay, hi, everyone. It's so exciting to see so many people joining us for this great event. We've got 54 people here now and it's 12:05. So I think it's time to get started in launching this great book. So I'll just introduce myself I'm Dr. Kasey Symons and Emma Sherry and Katie Rowe have asked me to help introduce and launch this book today, which is a huge honour. So thank you so much for having me be involved. Before we get started with today's event, we definitely need to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land of which we're all gathered on here today. So as we gather for this event, physically dispersed and virtually constructed, let us take a moment to reflect the meaning of place and in doing so recognise the various traditional lands on which we do our business today, we acknowledge the elders, past, present and emerging of the land that we do our work and live on and their ancestral spirits with gratitude and respect. For me personally, I'm on Melbourne lands today. So I'd like to acknowledge that we're Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. So today we are launching a book! So this is a great day of celebration, and so exciting to see so many people here to do it with us. We had a bit of a chat when this book was coming out about doing a launch in the time of COVID-19. And Emma and I had a bit of a conversation around "It's so sad that we can't all be in one room together and have some wine and cheese and celebrate a book like we normally would", but I think upon reflection, looking at all the authors that have contributed to this great book, it's such a global audience with authors from all around the world. So perhaps, the silver lining is by doing it in this environment, we can actually bring more people along with us, which is really exciting. And in that sense, what we would normally do in a book launch is have a bit of a panel or conversation, but today we're actually going to show a video where I've actually had the immense honour to talk to a lot of the authors who contributed research to this book, so we could bring more people along for that conversation. And also because we know zoom and online webinars can sometimes be a bit touchy when you're trying to walk around everyone in the screen, it makes it a bit easier to bring everyone together in a pre recorded video to stop any technical issues. So hopefully it runs all smoothly. But Mel in the back end, who is working on all the Tech has done an amazing job of bringing that all together. So thank you, Mel. So to talk about the book, Developing Sport for Women and Girls, edited by Emma Sherry and Katie Rowe. This is a first for a book like this, and it's so exciting to see a book come out particularly at this time with women sports has got so much momentum, and so much potential. So this book is organised across three key themes, participation and inclusion, sport for development, and sport development. And as we move through the video presentation, you'll see the chapter titles and sort of see how that evolves throughout the narrative in the book, to get a sense of just how many intersections there are when it comes to developing sport for women and girls. We'll have a question and answer portion as well as part of the book launch. So shortly we'll start the video, it goes for about 20 minutes and it sort of talks through a lot of the themes. I get to talk to so many of the authors which for someone who is an early career researcher working in the women in sport space was such a thrill for me. So thank you to all the authors who gave me their time to have a chat. And apologies for fan-girling over most of you, but it was just so refreshing to talk to you, particularly a lot of you who have been working in this space for such a long time and produce such amazing work. So I really hope you enjoy that video. As much as I've enjoyed putting it together. The question and answers will come through at the end of the video. So we have the Q and A function at the bottom of your screen that you can type your questions into while you're watching the video if anything comes up. Additionally, if any of the authors that present here today and they've got any comments that they want to add to some of the questions, please feel free to use that function. And you'll also have the raise hand function as well, if you want to use that towards the end of the video. And when we start having the q&a, to ask your question to Emma and Katie, who will come on board later to talk you through their work, the book, and have a really great conversation about what this book is all about. So enjoy the video and thanks for coming along.
Kasey Symons 7:29
So, Emma, do you want to talk us through why this book and why now?
Emma Sherry 7:34
We thought it was really important that we looked to represent women and girls in all aspects of sport for development. I think one of the starting points for us was helping industry the sports sector understand that women and girls sport participation, whether it's for high performance or as a special programme is not a special programme. It's business as usual it's a very big part of the population. It's a group that really should be engaged with for great business reasons, not just equity reasons. So what we wanted to do was to make sure that we had an opportunity to look at all different types of women and girls, and their experience of playing sport, being involved in sport, or being involved in activities which use sport as a tool for another outcome. Explain that this thing called women is not universal. It's not one thing. And there are different types of women in every different roles that they play in different experiences.
Brianna Newland 8:38
My chapter was called participation opportunities for pathways for women and girls. And I wrote that with in conjunction with Kim Encel and Pamm Phillips from Deakin University, it was a really great opportunity for us to share the challenges that women and girls still face as far as their sport development pathways. One of the really interesting things we talked about in the chapter is really addressing elite participation and how women begin to plan for their families. And oftentimes, we see women making that decision of family versus sport, instead of trying to find ways to incorporate that family planning into their competitive sport participation in the event that they're not ready to stop participating yet. And so one of the really fun parts of the chapter in addition to other challenges women and girls continue to face as a continuing sport participant myself, I'm a triathlete and crossfitter and the focus of my research is on lifelong sport participation.
Rochelle Eime 9:51
We looked at the trends in British participation over time, both in Australia and internationally and looked at the motivations for participation for adolescence. gills because we know that they are different across the lifespan, but they're also different for boys and men than they are for girls and women. And we also looked at the barriers to participation. Well, what we did is we use a social ecological lens. So we looked at those factors that relate to the individual, or the interpersonal, the social, the organisational and environmental. And what we found is that participation for girls and women was half the rate that it was for males. But that's also because there's many sports that were traditionally male only, you know, like cricket and AFL and soccer. That's why we're seeing you know, lower rates for participation for females. But now there are a lot more opportunities for females to play a whole range of sports and so we hopefully that'll, that'll continue to improve in the future. We also looked at a lot of the things about retention so how to keep women and girls involved in sport, and what we found is that the best time or the best ages to start playing sport is around seven to nine.
Clare Hanlon 10:58
There's sport and active recreation enables women as mothers to socially connect, gain a sense of identity, have time out from everyday life and become physically active. And what we also found was that if these key motivators were embraced by sport organisations and schools, to enable women as mothers to be physically active and to lead, it's actually going to provide greater benefits to not only the woman itself, but to her family, community, and sport as a whole.
Tracy Taylor 11:32
There is you know, a lot of work looking at women in general, and opportunities in particular barriers to participating in sport and recreation. But when you start drilling down and looking at mothers with dependent children, and looking at that as a not a holistic cohort, there isn't much when we start looking at women from particular backgrounds or from particular classes.
Kasey Symons 12:03
So Claire, you've written a chapter for this book on developing support for older women. Do you want to talk us through what that means and what you looked at specifically?
Claire Jenkin 12:12
Yeah, so I looked at different kind of research has been done for older women in sport, and some of the stuff that came out I think it's similar to other sort of age groups. So yeah, having fun, and that kind of stuff, but specifically for older women, and it's often about negotiating the ageing process and trying to mitigate some of the social stereotypes of ageing and doing that through sport, which I think is really sort of fascinating. Does that make you find findings specifically was around using sport to negotiate the ageing process to try and differentiate themselves from this image of know, frail, older people and that kind of thing. And also, like, similar to other people in terms of using sport to improve their health and having fun, the social kind of aspects of having a cup of tea and but also they a lot of them really loved the competitive aspects of sport. So really kind of promoting that as well and showing that that's the way sport can be used in terms of physical activity option.
Hannah McDougall 13:14
We introduced the chapter and looked quite heavily and this was more Andrews role in terms of that feminist approach and how that can start to create a lens for how we view this topic. And then we segwayed into motivation for women, women and girls. And then we looked at the barriers that they all face and then we finished off with a case study and some recommendations.
Andrew Hammond 13:41
A key thing that came out from this chapter was like thinking about how, for instance, you will get sports like sledge hockey, you know, sledge hockey is excluded in the Paralympics. There's no female team. There's female leagues in North America, but it's not an Olympic sport yet because of ableism and also that strong interrelationship with feminism. So you will get it from like a female discrimination perspective, and that compounded with with with paternalistic notions of disability as well.
Kasey Symons 14:18
So, Ryan, and you've written a chapter with your co author about promoting LGBT plus inclusion in women's and girls sport, but drawing from lessons from Australia in particular, do you want to talk us through exactly what your chapter looked at in some of the research?
Ryan Storr 14:32
Yes, for sure. So we kind of provided a general overview around LGBT inclusion, broadly speaking, but then spoke about it within the context of women and girls, often sports organisations in particular, and try and group LGBT plus into one box. So what we did was we kind of did a broad overview of what we know around LGBT inclusion within Australian sport, and then we kind of went narrow and talked about it in the context of women and girls and what that can what that means. One of our central arguments is that in promoting women and girls sports in particular, it shouldn't be at the detriment of LGBT women, because they should be celebrated for their achievements and what they've contributed to the Australian sports.
Kasey Symons 15:16
So Hazel, you've written two chapters with your co author Meghan Stronach for this book, and you've looked at two different cohorts, but within I guess, intersections in between both. Do you want to talk to us through both your chapter titles, who, what groups you're looking at, and I guess your approaches to the research?
Hazel Maxwell 15:34
So the two chapters, so chapter eight is culturally and linguistically diverse women in sport. And chapter nine is Indigenous women and sport, and they have got some commonalities. So the main commonality is around the intersectionality of gender and ethnicity or race so both of them got those two intersect analogies. In a way, women from both groups are to some extent using sport to challenge stereotypes both gender and cultural. In both of them, we sort of get the uses similar format, we look at the barriers and constraints. So we start with a bit of a deficit approach, but then we try to move into a much more strengths based approach. And we look at the enablers, the facilitators, and ways that sports organisations can encourage women from these groups and can include women from these groups to become more diverse. And then at the end, we look at some of the future directions and research in these areas. So yeah.
Kasey Symons 16:51
You're looking at developing spoken women and girls in underserved and low socio economic communities, can you talk to us a bit more about what you look Specifically in this group?
Katherine Raw 17:01
So yeah, I guess the hardest part with this population is actually defining who they are because they represent such a broad range of females in the community. And that's both socio culturally as well as economically, geographically. So it represents, in essence, a whole bunch of females that aren't represented in all the other chapters in this book.
Kasey Symons 17:25
What were some of the key takeaways that you found while putting this chapter together?
Katherine Raw 17:29
Typically, we see common denominators around low confidence, lack of self esteem, but also a lack of perceived competence when it comes to sport we see things like low levels of education or income, family barriers, so typically other family members wouldn't be so physically active, and then environmentally, we see things like a lack of access to facilities.
Emma Seal 17:56
The chapter focus was really on trying to give some scaffolding around what we mean by the term empowerment, and how we can apply it theoretically, in the context of the work that we're working in. So it was kind of demonstrating different ways that you can understand empowerment. So, for instance, in relational ways, building new networks and connections between the girls in the programme, allowing them opportunities to kind of fulfil more leadership roles. So within the programme itself, but also the programme coordinators were all Indigenous women, so that gave them opportunities to actually work in sport leadership context as well.
Kasey Symons 18:36
So you've written a chapter that addresses gender, sport and livelihoods? Can you give us a bit more of a context and understanding about what you looked at and what that means in the broader discussion of developing sport for women and girls that this book is all about?
Rochelle Stewart-Withers 18:51
Yeah, so as far as I my interest in livelihoods really stems from the fact that actually I'm a development studies scholar. So I work in the area of international development. And so first and foremost, I'm always coming from a development perspective. For me, it's always really about the idea that we have development goals, for example, livelihoods, or looking to address things like gender equality, and how can sport then be used as a vehicle to achieve that. What I really wanted to show in this chapter is that there are many things many challenges that women face when they're trying to think about livelihoods. The start point for me for this chapter was not necessarily the sport, um, it was about 'Okay, so when I think about gender and livelihoods, what are some of the challenges that women and girls face anyway' and then adding adding the sport back in later because I think, you know, sport, certainly, you know if we think about sport is that as part of broader society, you know those issues that women and girls face in broader society just play out in the sporting space as well.
Kasey Symons 20:22
So your chapter is focusing on promoting health to women and girls through sport. Do you want to talk to us a little bit about what you looked at specifically with Emma in this chapter?
Katie Rowe 20:31
Sure. So I guess we took quite a broad scopes approach to this really discussing the issues around mainly not just assuming that Sport, Sport will promote health on its own, we need to ensure that sport environments are managed in a way that actually work towards delivering health outcomes. And you know, we often sort of equate health and sport and sort of this kind of Nexus idea of sport and health. So we interlink the government to promote sport as a means of achieving health outcomes. The chapters are not designed to undermine the links between health and sport, but more so to highlight the fact that if we are claiming that sports, health promoting, we need to make sure that health is embedded as a goal or an objective. And there are actually strategies and programmes and initiatives and actions that are working towards those outcomes. And when it comes to women a lot of the time that really is about ensuring that the environments are supportive, welcoming, inclusive, and that they're trying to break down barriers and promote opportunities for women as opposed to a kind of one size fits all model that is moving towards elite sport outcomes, which has often been the case in a lot of traditional sports systems.
Lisa Gowthorp 21:45
In Australia, specifically, and I imagine around the world in high performance sport, there's not a lot of female specific training programmes so they're not especially written just for a female athlete. I think one of the best examples that I did read about and wrote about was obviously the emergence of the women's AFL so were excited to have women playing professional sports, professional contact sport, however, the same thing has happened where these women have moved into a system of how professional male AFL players have been trained and coached. But we forget that women haven't had a history in this sport. They haven't built up resistance and tolerance and haven't been in really high pressure environment like the AFL for a long period of time. So it's definitely going to take its toll on them. So we need to really make sure we consider the female body, how they train, what injuries they may get, and what we can do to kind of protect them in these type of environments.
Kasey Symons 22:46
Your chapter, you're focusing on coaches and officials, which is such a broad space, do you want to give us a bit more of a sense of what you're looking at, specifically in this book, which then ties to the developing sport for women and girls?
Donna De Haan 22:59
Yeah, me the chapter was co authored with Stacey Warner. And so she's the expert on the official side of things. It was a really nice collaborative process to just kind of look at these two areas together and then look at the similarities as well and the differences between these two different roles within sports that women are in, but I focused on the coaching side, my work is more in elite sport. So the higher level sport but generally speaking, women are underrepresented in coaching anyway, and specifically at the elite level sport, really emphasises this binary divide. It's so articulate in everything that sport does and not shying away from that culture. It's very much part of who they are, what sport is, you play on this team, you play on that team and you know, that's it. And there are structures and systems that we've got to challenge and adapt and evolve so that it becomes more of an equitable space.
Kasey Symons 23:56
So you're looking at athlete protection and duty of care, which is such a broad scope. Do you wanna talk to us a little bit more about what you looked at specifically with this focus in the chapter for the book?
Popi Sotiriadou 24:08
Yes, we examine specific areas around the space, and in particular sexual harassment in sports, bullying, eating disorders and performance enhancing recreational drugs for women and girls in sports, in particular, within their high performance context. The breadth and the depth of the ramifications of inactivity or lack of protection and duty of care was one of the key things that emerged as a huge concern as a top level finding that breadth and depth of ramifications spans from the individual athlete and their health for success in sport, to the cultural sports in general, and the sport they play as well as the sports organisations that they will present. But he goes beyond that sporting context and impacts the broader perception about females and female athletes and what they stand for, as well as the role of sport in society. So you can see how these issues are not isolated in a single level.
Kasey Symons 25:25
So you've written a chapter about regulating high testosterone in International Women's sport, can you talk us through what you found while looking at this issue.
Madeleine Pape 25:34
For me, one of the most important pieces to tease out and really try to explore in this chapter was, first of all, the historical story of regulating eligibility in female athletics and trying to show how there has been change over time in ways that reveals just how complex it is to try to impose this boundary around who can legitimately compete as a female athlete. The second piece is not just thinking about the aspects of the science behind these regulatory interventions, which has changed over time, revealing the complexity of biological sex. But also the entanglements with ideas about which female athletes should be eligible to compete in the ties to initially Western Eastern divisions and hostility towards Eastern Europe and Soviet athletes. But more recently, that changing shifting towards a very noticeable North South Division
Chelsey Taylor 26:51
The chapter looking at professional women's sports leagues goes into a little bit of detail about the pathways that women in sport to professional sports leagues has, as well as items around players associations, bargaining agreements and how that ties into role modelling and the athlete pathways and I guess desire to become a female athlete and what that will mean for future generations. So for young girls, my passion around woman sports and in particular professional sports leagues comes from my own upbringing and the lack of visible role models in the woman in sports space. There was no really strong female figures and it was almost a negative thing to be a young female playing sports, so to be able to have these leagues and role models that can break the stereotypes and the concerns around playing sport as a female. They play such an important role in providing that inspiration to actually play sports.
Merryn Sherwood 27:54
I was asked to write a chapter on media influence. I'm passionate about this area because I use to be a sports journalist, myself, and I became pretty frustrated with the lack of agency that I had in making any changes to sports media. In my research in the space, I found that this is a pretty common experience. Although we are making some progress with the amount of women's sport and the type of coverage we see in the news. It's difficult to make changes when the system is just structurally biased towards men's sport. I'd say the key takeaway, though that I have is sports organisations is that you can now control a lot of the messaging that comes out about your sport by promoting equality through your own platforms. Use your own website and your own social media accounts to share women's stories. You do need to balance these though, with the fact that women are increasingly being targeted online. And so I'd say that there also needs to be support structures to develop female athletes and women that work most organisations
Women and Girls are often excluded from organised sport or face challenges and accessing or developing within sports. This is the first book to focus on sport development for women and girls. Available now from Routledge. This book is essential readings for all involved in sports development, resource management.
Emma Sherry 29:27
Thanks, everybody. I'm just going to wait for the wonderful Mel to switch the video off and move us back to talking. So, first of all, on behalf of Katie and myself, I'd also like to acknowledge that today we are meeting on a whole variety of lands of traditional owners and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. And we would also really like to thank you all for being here. This was a big experiment for us. And we are living the women in sport dream with Katie squeezing this In between feeds of her new baby while on maternity leave, myself pushing cats off the table, so you couldn't see it from my salubrious Swinburne office that's not real. So thank you for coming on this brave, new, exciting project with us. We'd also particularly like to thank all of the authors, and Ange Osborne who's not unfortunately with us today, but our amazing copy editor. She helped us make sure that our words made sense and all the full stops and commas are in the right spots. So we absolutely do a shout out to Ange. If I can humour me for a minute, if the authors who are on the call, I'm gonna call your names out, but if you want to quickly unhide your video, and you can wave at everybody, we do have a number of authors on the call today. So we've got Hazel, Megan, Lisa, Popi, Rochelle, Ruth, Ryan, Claire, Marin, Hannah, Chelsea and Emma. Um, feel free to wave at people or just a shout out to let everyone know we do have a number of the authors that you've seen today. So thank you so much for being part of this great big adventure with us. Also particularly a huge thank you to Kasey and Mel, for making this thing happen. It's been brilliant. So thank you so much. We really, really appreciate it. The last thing I would like to do before we go to questions, so please do type some questions in if you'd like to, or put your hand up if you'd like to talk to us. I'm very happy to announce that Routledge has provided a 40% discount on the E book to all the participants who attended today. So the lovely Mel, will be sending an email out to you all shortly with that discount code. So if you haven't got it already, please feel free to use that. And apologies if you have already bought it and didn't get the great discount code, um our bad, we didn't find out till quite recently. So, Katie, I want to hand over to you. Do you have anything else that you'd like to add before we go to questions?
Katie Rowe 31:59
No, I just personally, I've been a bit of a backseat driver for this event, obviously, as Emma mentioned, a bit distracted by my baby who is divine but very demanding. And so yeah, massive, thank you to Emma for taking the lead for Kasey and for Mel, who have done a great job with it. So I've set very much in the background and I'm very honoured and excited to be part of this launch. But as Emma mentioned, they've been very active in this and yeah, so welcome, everyone, thanks to the authors for all your contributions, big thanks to Ange as well. And it's great to see so many of you online and all the wonderful messages streaming in from from people around the world saying Hello, and welcome. And it's great to see you all so and thank you for being interested in our book. We hope you enjoy it.
Emma Sherry 32:45
Thank you. Thanks, Katie. So Aurelie, thank you for kicking off the questions. It's always awkward. And as academics we absolutely know this that quite often they're crickets when you ask a question. So thank you for asking questions. So Aurelie, it is a really good point that we were trying to point out that you know that women and girls do get left out of various parts of the sport sector. And what we would like to see is that they're not being seen as a special project. But absolutely right. I do think that we are trying to get the message through this book that we want the industry sector to and the sports sector to understand that women's sport is slightly different. And I think what we've tried to do with this book is really have an intersectional approach. And you'll notice through the way we've structured the book, the front structure is about all the different flavours of women basically, so that they were not just one thing, there's younger women, older women. There are women who have caring responsibilities, there are women who might have a disability, same sex attracted, gender diverse, all of those different things. So I really do think that we've tried to capture that there are different ways that women and girls do interact with sport and that we would like them to be become business as usual and not a special project. But they do have different needs, and that they do have different reasons for participating or not participating. So we're hoping that that's what's being captured throughout this this book. Katie, did you have anything that you'd like to add?
Katie Rowe 34:18
I think that covers it pretty well. Thanks Em.
Emma Sherry 34:20
Thank you. So Michelle's asked us a question, saying that the women are still massively underrepresented in sports leadership ranks with only 10% of women CEOs in sport and rec. Without representation at board and exec table, how are we going to address this? Change should be lead from the top. Absolutely. And I think we've got an incredibly fortunate situation with us here in Victoria in Australia, where we have an Office for Women in Sport and Recreation whose job really is to make sure that we can have women and girls having access to all types of sport participation. So our book today hasn't focused on the off field side of things, we've really focused on what it's like to participate in a whole lot of different levels. But absolutely leadership is key. So seeing more women CEOs seeing more women in high performance coaching, seeing more women officiating and on boards is absolutely where we'll start to see that change, but also recognising our own privilege and that intersectionality. So I think we've got a long way to go with female representation on boards. But at the moment, a lot of female representation on sport boards is still relatively middle class white ladies. So we still have more diversity work to do, other than just women. But absolutely, the change does need to be led from the top. And we also need to have our our male allies engaged as well to help push that message through. Now I'm trying to get the questions in order. Jo, thank you so much for coming. I know Joanna from her amazing work in the Pacific. We do have heaps of different topics. And we had a whole lot of different countries and authors. So in each chapter, what we tried to do was make sure that we we had a case study. So it's not just an academic book, there are case studies from the field. And we have a lot of case studies from all over the world. So you'll be really pleased to know, from your experience and your work with the Pacific, that we do have case studies from that Pacific region. We have authors who work in Europe, and in the in the Americas, we have Asia Pacific covered as well. So there's always more work to go. But I do think we've tried to have a really global perspective. And interestingly, some of our Australian authors are from overseas and some of our overseas authors are currently Australian authors are currently living overseas. So we do have this really nice global perspective that we've tried to bring and we did that purposefully. To make sure that it wasn't just a straight white, Australian lady's version of sport. I'm gonna look at Katie to make sure that there's anything else. No Oh, good, fantastic. Now, I'm not sure if this which Melanie This is because we've got three different Melanie's. So thank you Melanie. It might be Ryan disguised Melanie, so that would be great. Um, question about online spaces, and absolutely around ALFW in the Herald Sun and things like that. We do really and Merryn touches a bit on this in her commentary on the video, and in her chapter is that one of the big issues around women in sport and their representation in the media is around. Thanks, Merryn, feel free to answer these questions, is to look at how we can protect women and provide safe spaces and how we can encourage sport organisations to take the trolling seriously. So I would really think that this is something that we need to focus on really importantly, and I do think it's also worth doing a shout out to organisations like Siren which Kasey's involved in I know Dan Warby is on the call, and others which are trying to curate spaces for women and girls in sport in that social media. Merryn, did you want to? Did you want to jump in and talk about that as well?
Merryn Sherwood 38:25
Um, yeah, I guess it's just it's a certainly a project that I'm actually hoping to get off in the next six months looking at this more in depth. But I think it was really interesting that essentially the Herald Sun what they did this year was actually closed off comments on AFLW. Because they found they were attracting so much vitriol that they actually just decided to get rid of the comments completely. The other related issue is that recently there was a court decision in Australia that actually said that media organisations and any organisation posted on Facebook could be held liable for defamatory comments under those posts. And so that has potential implications for women's sport in that, you know, if the way to get rid of that potential risk is just not post about it, what does that do for visibility? So I think it's a really important area to do more work in. And I'm certainly hoping to do that work hopefully alongside other excellent people like Emma and Katie, and probably lots of other people in this group. So once I get that up and running, I might be in touch with you all.
Emma Sherry 39:32
Thanks, Merryn. And that's really lovely. Now, I'm going a bit out of order but I can see Popi that there is a question for you if you'd like to unmute your microphone?
Popi Sotiriadou 39:45
Yes, can you guys hear me?
Emma Sherry 39:47
We can thanks Popi. Aurelie's got a question for you which is is the overall lack of duty of care you found towards women athletes at the policy level in specific sport organisations, or is it more behavioural or all of these things?
Popi Sotiriadou 40:05
It's both. And one transcends over the other, back and forth. So we see a lack of action from Sports organisations point of view, in terms of having stricter policies in place that are well communicated across all stakeholders and abide to and, you know, enforced from one end, for all sorts of reasons. I guess some, sometimes there's some political reasons, sometimes there's some financial reasons, I'm not going to dwell into that. But we also see behavioural issues with regards to some of these behaviours, being entertained for too long, and becoming the norm in instead of them being tackled on the head. So I hope that makes sense and answers that question.
Emma Sherry 41:03
Thanks, Popi. Now I'm going to handle this one to Katie. Tamara has got an excellent question there. Katie, are you happy to take that one?
Katie Rowe 41:15
Sure. I'm just trying to find it navigate. Okay, so there's a lot of good intent out there to include women and girls on the field. But can you share some of the things that could work to include them? As BAU by club volunteers who have habits that are hard to acknowledge and change? Yeah, absolutely. I think that that's one of the things that I found in my experience engaging with community sport in particular, is that there's a lot of great intent and a lot of ideas and we want women we want women but we don't really know what we're doing. And one example I often reflect on is in my own research in women's cycling participation, very much recreational focus. I received some approaches from a particular community club in Victoria, wherever I live and someone with these great intents and ideas, and we really want to include women. And I asked sort of the question, how do I go about that? I asked the question, what are the things that you're doing? And they said, Well, we put on, you know, elite rides for women, and we have a special category for women. And it was all these things get very much at the top end, and they didn't really have that capacity or ability to plug into what an entry level grassroots community participant needs or wants, or perhaps their anxieties that they have. So I was very fortunate that that President then reflected on referred me on to one of their committee members who was a woman. And amazingly, she had these great insights and ideas and in, you know, ways that she could actually transform that club, through her own experiences, but no one had really thought to ask her or to engage with her. So I think a lot of the time it's about accessing the people within your community and within sort of those, those sort of community areas, who can actually you know, bring towards those resources who may have read more One of these chapters in the books or who may have, you know, had experiences of exclusion on their own, personally, who can actually help shape ideas and if they're called on given any given that sort of, I guess, voice to make those changes. So I think that's a long winded answer, but the the idea is to not just sort of have the intent but to actually engage with the population you're wanting to, to encourage and, and not assume that you have the answers, but to take some of the resources that are in you know, this book, for example, but also to engage with the community that you're actually wanting to, to promote opportunities to so I hope that sort of answers the question.
Emma Sherry 43:42
Thanks, Katie. I'm Lisa Gowthorpe, I'm going to throw to you in a minute if you want to get yourself ready. Lisa wrote the chapter on high performance. And Alex has got a lovely question about finishing a PhD in talent development for women and sport and would like to continue researching. So where is the next gap or the next line of research there? Lisa, do you want to have a go at answering that one?
Lisa Gowthorp 44:08
Sure. Yeah I guess, um, it's quite hard. And there's some research coming out now in the participation space that a lot of girls that are dropping out in their teenager years in high school is because sport is either you moving on to be professional and going further, not just staying to have fun. So the talent development is very structured and girls that identified at an age will move into those structured pathways and will continue in either Olympic sport or a professional sport, which seems to be where a lot of those talented athletes are. If you look at the talent pool of females, we're looking for, you know, the athletic, the tall, the agile, the fit, and it's very similar mode or model for professional sports and for a lot of the Olympic sports if you're looking at your swimming and your cycling, so it's quite a small talent pool. So a lot of the Olympic sports, non Olympic sports and now professional sports are trying to get these tall athletic girls to come into their sport. So I guess if you're an athlete in that space, you kind of do have a choice. And then it does come down to where you live. Obviously, in the remote areas, there's not a lot of talent development opportunities. The cities have greater programmes, greater support. And then it depends on the sport that you choose as well, is where you're going to get the most support for your talent pathway. But some schools are doing a really good job at it at the moment. And there are some clubs that are tapping into high performance sport development, but it's still a matter of being in the right place at the right time. And you really have to relocate if you are really aiming to be a high performance athlete and find the best programme for you. Does that answer the question?
Emma Sherry 45:54
Yeah. Great. Thank you so much, Lisa. And thank you to the authors for letting us throw to you without warning you that we might Do this at all. So thank you very much. Sekha has got a great question around the proliferation of social media and whether that's brought greater attention to women's sports than earlier. Again, I'm happy for Merryn to jump in. But I'll have a start. I think there's been a bit of a perfect storm in that absolutely. social media has helped to give women platforms for their voices that they might not have had before with mainstream media. But I do think also too, we are seeing a much stronger portion in the product of women in sport that can be promoted through television or followed online and those kinds of things. So I think that it's social media has absolutely played a role and will continue to be a a way of enabling focus on Women and Girls sport, but it's also a lot of structural change that's been happening in the background similar to what Michelle was referring to earlier. We're seeing more leadership in this space, where we're demanding change and demanding new life. Merryn did you have anything you wanted to add?
Merryn Sherwood 47:03
Um, I just, I think to agree with you there. But also, I think that social media has also helped. But the internet generally has been a great enabler in allowing different voices. You know, one of those, one of those people that has been absolutely amazing in this space is Dan Warby, who I believe is in here as well. So, you know, I think that the amount of platforms now where you can actually it's fairly low cost to essentially start a platform and have more voices and obviously, Siren sport, which Dan and Kasey are both involved is a great example of that. And I also included the Outer Sanctum as a case study in my chapter. And they basically said, you know, without sort of podcasting and the ability to get into the market, they probably wouldn't have made that jump either. So certainly, I think it has made it easier, but you're right in the sense that it's also been the product is there and that there's more sports to promote. There is more women's sport to actually just talk about.
Emma Sherry 48:08
Fantastic. Thanks, mirroring. Now while we're still doing lots of hand passing, Hannah, have we got you online? Aurelie is asking a question around the research and advocacy priorities for women and girls with disabilities in sport. Would you like to address that one for us?
Hannah McDougall 48:26
For sure, Emma, thank you. And thanks, Aurelie for the question. I'm so Aurelie, what our chapter mainly focuses, focuses upon and draws out his um, we note that there is a bit of a double whammy in the sense that if you're female and you have a disability, then you've kind of got a few extra barriers happening there. But saying that there is some really great stuff happening and real world examples of sport programming that supports greater inclusion engagement. So for example, Andrew did a case study from Canada, on British Columbia. But I think one of the main messages to come out of the chapter was the importance of role models and visual role models. So really getting it out there. I mean, I noted last year in the fabulous women in sport, photo competition, I was blown away by it. I there wasn't actually any pictures of females with a disability entered into that competition. So this year, I reached out to all of my friends and said, 'Guys, we need some better representation here.' So really connecting with those role models, both within their sport, and then also having those visuals. So I think that's just one kind of key way that we can we can move forward a little bit in this space. And I hope that's a little bit helpful.
Emma Sherry 50:03
Thanks, Hannah. That's awesome. I'm going to chat to my friend Ben Howard who I also know, my Pacific people have turned up. So thank you, Pacifica. Ben makes a really good question. And thank you, Dan, for jumping in to help answer it. It's been a really interesting time during the COVID shutdown and uh, not not 100% shutdown. But when we've seen sport stop, that I know a lot of us who had felt for a while that we passed a tipping point, and we really couldn't go backwards in our women and girls sport, particularly at that professional level, that all of a sudden we went oh hell what's going to happen now? I really do think that what we have seen, though, has been quite heartening in that it took them a little while but the big codes have come out and generally said quite early that they will support and I think and Dan, thank you for putting that that link in that says that nearly everything is coming back, or has been announced to come back. What I also think was really interesting to see when news reports of sponsors, saying that they wouldn't come back unless they had the women's team. So their sponsorship, for example, in support of that league, or that team was contingent on the women's team being part of it. So I do think we have seen a bit of a shift. I know I was nervous. I'm sure a lot of my colleagues were nervous. And we have seen some, some wobbling. But I do think now that there is such a viable product. If you think of the attendee numbers that have gone to the AFL women's Grand Finals, for example. I know for a lot of us that the last sport event we went to live was the Women's World Cup cricket final, which had 90,000. You know, like we really had a spectacular focus on that product now. So I do think it would be a very foolish sport to not continue to focus on their women's codes and women's teams. But Thanks, Ben, that's a great question. Katie, did you want to take our last question before we let everyone go and have lunch?
Katie Rowe 52:12
I'm happy to thanks Em. I hope I've understood your question correctly. Tim, I think that you're trying to ask questions around or suggest that people in women in community sport settings will speak to researchers, but perhaps that informations not fed back well into the mainstream to disseminate, I'm guessing. But please type another question if I've misunderstood that. I think that that's a really important point. And a lot of it sort of the way I see it is that we need to ensure that we are at least giving that outlet for the voices to be heard as a start point. And it's, I guess, our job as researchers to ensure that the translation, I guess, moves its way up and as Michelle pointed out earlier, to ensure that those messages start to reach the important leadership voices and to ensure that the right people are in those leadership roles. Who can, I guess set about making changes? Okay, so Tim's just clarified there. But do they speak to the researchers a great, but where they speak directly. So
Emma Sherry 53:12
I can probably have a go at that too Katie. It seems like it's things like this where we are really a key part of being a researcher is not just writing the papers or doing the research. It's about knowledge, translation and knowledge sharing. So by creating books, writing reports, obviously they're they're tangible things, but it's around public speaking, attending the functions, the big seminars, those kinds of things. So I know that for a lot of us, we've really had so many seminars and so many public speaking events and so many things where we've tried to bring the women and sport community back together, all together and researchers play a part in that. There there would be a whole lot of different platforms where you might see someone like myself or Katie or any of our authors, but also people like Michelle Redfern who asked a question before doing her work in the community, Bridie O'Donnell's office, they're all research based organisations, and then sorry, organisations that use research and evidence basis for their actions. So there still is absolutely a disconnect between research and practice. But we are seeing a whole lot more of engagement with that. And I think again, it could be just my personal experience, but I find that that engagement in that connection between research and practice, or research in the industry as a whole is a lot closer in women in sport because we do really come together much more as a community than I think our other areas do. Because it is seen as very collaborative.
Katie Rowe 54:46
And Em just to build on that, I think Emma and I, for example, have both represented on Victorian sport organisation boards. So a lot of my colleagues are similarly trying to actually not just produce journal articles that sit on shelves in libraries but also to take that information and try to have that those ideas and opinions and positions put forward at board tables and then filtered outwards as well, Em is obviously the President of a state board organisation and has quite a bit of influence. I'm on a state board and also try to advocate those positions and are often called on within that sport to share information from my own research. So that's one piece, obviously, these resources, but I think it's also about people championing the messages that are coming through and taking this knowledge. The students that come through our classrooms that we can share this information through, they become the sport managers, the sport managers of tomorrow, people like Lisa Hasker, who are here today another representative from Vic Sport, you know, there's a lot of important people who are going to access these book and information who can hopefully give a voice to those participants who have a community level and grassroots have spoken to researchers as well. So hope that helps as well.
Emma Sherry 55:58
Thanks, Katie. And we've got one last question because I, everyone who knows me in real life knows that I do finish everything and start everything on time. It's a it's a curse and a blessing, um, politics and athletes. So, I guess by that you mean so called negative politics or male athletes getting in the newspaper for a whole variety of things. I think women's sport is very political. If you think of, Megan, I'm going to mispronounce her name, but Rapinoe the US football player, she does not hide her politics away. We have really strong female advocates. Now often they're advocating on on feminist or or women's issues, but also on gender diversity, same sex attraction, Black Lives Matter, a lot of the WNBA women were very early and very strong in their advocacy for politics. So I do think in the positive side of politics, women have a great role to play in and already do, I think in the politics of, you know, are they doing the wrong thing and things like that at the moment? I wouldn't say that there's there are women who misbehave. But realistically, I do think that we have a different culture in women's sport than men's sport that has played into what we would call politics. So I think I hope I've answered your question there Sekha. I think I took it, tried to enter it in both ways. So hopefully, we ended up okay. I'm just reading the chat. Thank you so much. Yes, absolutely, Joanna. PNG has been amazing in gender based violence and things like that. So there's lots of different things. But we have one minute to go. And thank you all. so so much for being here. for engaging, we really weren't sure how this was going to go. So thank you for having faith that it was gonna be fun.
Emma Sherry 57:52
It's been fabulous. please reach out to us or any of the authors in the chapters. I know that as researchers, we'd love to hear from you. So thank you so much. I'm sorry, we couldn't give you real cheese and real wine but feel free to crack one open in about four hours. And we'll look forward to seeing you all in real life again soon. Thank you everybody so much. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and day.
Katie Rowe 58:17