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Sport for development

Global sport for development partnerships

Women in News and Sport (WINS) initiative

The Women in News and Sport initiative (WINS) has been running since 2016, following an announcement by the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, on 21 October 2016.

WINS is an innovative gender equality partnership between the Australian Government and ABC International Development.

Supported through the Australian aid program, the goal of the initiative is to increase opportunities for women in sports journalism in the Indo-Pacific region and through those opportunities increase stories about women in sport.

This initiative leverages existing Pacific and Asia Sports Partnerships programs by using them as a mechanism to find and highlight sports stories, particularly involving champions of women's participation in sport at the community level.

Since it began, WINS has provided Indo-Pacific women journalists in PNG, Fiji, Vanuatu, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and India with the tools to carve out a career in the male-dominated world of sports media.

The program works in three areas:

  1. providing skills training and industry knowledge through an intensive workshop with Australian broadcasters and women sports journalists
  2. improving multi-platform content creation; and
  3. networking with other women sports journalists, media and sport organisations.

The WINS initiative creates economic opportunities for female journalists across the region, and uses sport and sports coverage to challenge community perceptions around what women are able to achieve.

In 2016-2017 there were 52 attendees across 4 workshops conducted in PNG, Fiji, Indonesia and Vietnam. In 2017-2018, there were 60 attendees across seven workshops conducted in Australia, India, Fiji, New Zealand, the Philippines and Vanuatu.

Minister Bishop on a stage with two sportswomen.
Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (right) launches the WINS program on a special edition of The Ticket (ABC News 24) alongside Rio gold-medal winning Australian Rugby 7s player Ellia Green (left) and Australia's first indigenous Olympian beach volleyballer Taliqua Clancy (centre).

Video - WINS program panel discussion

The International Platform on Sport & Development

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade re-joined the International Platform on Sport and Development in July 2016, for a period of four years. The Australian Sports Commission (now Sport Australia), on behalf of the Australian Government, previously sat on the Steering Board from 2008 to 2014. The International Platform on Sport & Development is a website dedicated to sport and development. It is a collaborative initiative supported and governed by a diverse set of stakeholders who are committed to contributing to this field. The platform facilitates knowledge sharing and coordination within sport for development, and is a prime catalyst for evolution within the field. The responsibility for strategy and overseeing implementation of the platform is performed by the steering board.

The steering board comprises of a group of committed stakeholders comprising of one representative from each organisation that makes a financial contribution to and provides strategic advice. The board includes governments, NGOs and sports federations. The current Steering Board members include:

  • Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
  • Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Laureus Sport for Good Foundation
  • Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports
  • Reach Out to Asia
  • Union of European Football Association (UEFA)

Empowering individuals and building careers

Person holding a soccer ball.
Suchitra took part in the WINS Commonwealth Games activity on the Gold Coast in March 2018 and received specialised sports commentary training. Credit : Suchitra.

WINS participant Suchitra has been working with India's Doordarshan News since 2005 but never given the opportunity to host a World Cup show. However in 2018 she hosted the FIFA World Cup coverage for the national broadcaster and says much of the credit goes to the WINS program. Suchitra participated in a WINS workshop in October 2017 – the New Delhi workshop included interviewing and storytelling skills, social media and photography - giving the opportunity for journalists from across the country to network with their peers. The following year Suchitra was one of five women that took part in the WINS Commonwealth Games activity on the Gold Coast in March 2018 where they received specialised commentary training and were embedded into the ABC broadcast coverage for GC2018. As a result of both experiences with WINS Suchitra gained confidence to put her new skillset into action.

"We have to take the initiative and show them we are just as good, if not better than the men."

In fact her first few shows were received so well that she ended up doing more shows than the male anchors!

Female journalists in Manila make history on the basketball court

Group of female journalist in manila, posing for a photo.
Female sports journalists in Manila, Philippines took part in a workshop led by ABC Broadcaster Tracey Holmes (left). Credit : ABC International Development.

WINS workshops focus on championing women's sport. Some of the Philippines finest female sports journalists took part in the training program in June 2018 in the capital which coincided with the FIBA 3x3 World Cup. It provided an opportunity for the women to put into practice the skills they had learnt, such as taking part in press conferences with local and international media and developing live commentary skills during the basketball games. The women also reported history being made as a women's team represented the Philippines for the very first time.

"It all starts with the media and if we are able to do the (female) athletes and sports justice through our voice then slowly the landscape will change."

Participant, 2018

Last Updated: 8 January 2019
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