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Australian government to invest $200m into women’s sports

Following the Matildas’ World Cup performance, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has unveiled a new funding package to improve facilities and equipment country-wide.

This weekend, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced a 200 million AUD (just over 100 million GBP) boost for women’s sports following the Matildas’ history-making run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

‘The Matildas have given us a moment of national inspiration, this is about seizing that opportunity for the next generation, investing in community sporting facilities for women and girls around Australia,’ he said in a statement.

‘Sport is a great unifier and a great teacher – it brings communities together; it teaches us about teamwork and resilience and the joy of shared success. We want women and girls everywhere in Australia to have the facilities and the support to choose a sport they love.’

Explaining that the funds would be used to improve sports facilities and equipment for women and young girls country-wide, Albanese said that the investment was long overdue.

This is because women’s football in Australia has for many years struggled to acquire significant resourcing in a market dominated by rugby.

Following the announcement of Play Our Way – the official title of the programme, which is set to be designed by an expert panel of former female athletes – this will no longer be the case.

Matildas Win In Front Of Biggest Crowd At Women's World Cup Since 2011

Though the grant guidelines have yet to be completed, it will promote equal access, build more suitable facilities, and support grassroots initiatives to get women and girls to engage, stay, and participate in sport throughout their lives.

‘Too often women and girls are changing in men’s bathrooms, wearing hand-me-down boys uniforms, playing with men’s equipment on poor fields that boys teams wouldn’t train on,’ said Minister for Sport, Anika Wells.

‘Play Our Way will address these issues to help women and girls enjoy sport for life.’

Not only this, but due to the ‘mind-boggling increase in interest’ in women’s sports, Albanese’s government has additionally promised reforms to guarantee that events are accessible on free-to-air television.

In other words, believing that every Australian deserves the change to enjoy live and free coverage of these events, ‘no matter where they live or what they earn,’ Albanese has committed to reviewing anti-siphoning laws, after criticism that many World Cup games were behind paywalls.

The Matildas’ semi-final against England was the most-watched show since the existing rating system was established.