March 2020 was an exciting time for women's sport. The air was abuzz with the upcoming T20 Women's World Cup final, which was aiming to sell out the Melbourne Cricket Ground. COVID-19 was a bit of an afterthought as everyone tried not to touch their faces too much while going about their usual business. Amidst all this, in a world that was about to change drastically, we launched the UNSW 2025 Women in Sport and Active Recreation Strategy.
The launch was incredibly successful, attracting attendees from across the University, as well as the broader sporting community. As the first Australian university to create a strategy of this kind, the event and strategy itself drew wide acclaim. The launch was attended by former Australian cricket captain Alex Blackwell and two-time Olympian Hannah Davis and leader of the NSW Office of Sport Her Sport, Her Way strategy Kerry Turner.
The pandemic made delivery of the Active Women Strategy incredibly challenging at times, however the executive committee has persisted through these challenging times to deliver a number of initiatives, including the launch of a dedicated award at the UNSW Blues and Sports Awards Dinner.
The Alex Blackwell Award celebrates members of the community who uphold the values and vision of the Active Women Strategy and will be presented for the first time at the 2021 event on 12 March. Named for Blackwell, who is a UNSW alumna and member of the UNSW Sports Advisory Council, the award recognises her contribution to women’s sport – both at UNSW and across Australia.
As well as this, the executive has worked on the development of tools to allow more accurate measurement of participation data, established communications policies with internal and external stakeholders, delivered a dedicated website page for strategy news and events and developed a governance model. The foundation year of the strategy was designed to set a baseline for the work to be completed over the following five years and the achievements delivered in 2020 have created the perfect platform for the future of the strategy.
To stay up to date with all the latest initiatives of the Active Women Strategy, join the UNSW Sport Facebook group and follow UNSW Sport on Instagram.