Celebrating Women in Football: A Kickoff for Change on International Women's Day

Published Wed 27 Mar 2024

Queen Elizabeth Park was roaring with laughter and happy faces on March 8th, International Women’s Day, as the park saw approximately 60 women (and men) across our Association come together to enjoy some small sided games and share a picnic. This evening was a celebration of women in football and marked what can only be described as the start of an inaugural event in Football Canterbury’s annual calendar.

It was not only a celebration of women in football but was about highlighting the barriers that women and girls face when it comes to playing sport. This event was run in support of the Sports Bra Project, an organisation who donate new sports bras to programs and individuals in areas where access and resources are limited.

With a show of hands, the participants at the event acknowledged the importance of sports bras in their own lives, recognising moments when the absence of this garment had led to discomfort or self-consciousness.

This exercise drew attention to the something most of us don’t think about often and highlighted an issue faced by many young girls and women who lack access to proper sports attire, leading to barriers in their participation in sports. Over 70% of girls drop out of sport by the age of 17, for various reasons, usually due to feeling self-conscious, financial constraints, or lack of access.  

The Sports Bra Project positions itself as an aid to this problem, through emphasising that this is more than just an undergarment; it is a protective piece of equipment that ensures you don’t cause damage to your body.

Moreover, the initiative goes beyond just distribution by prioritizing education on this importance. Recognising the cultural taboos and stigmas surrounding this topic, the project seeks to break down barriers by encouraging open dialogue and destigmatising discussions about women's athletic wear.

Through forcing the conversation that a sports bra is on the same level as shin pads and shouldn’t be something people feel embarrassed to talk about, we are opening the world of sports to so many more.  

On the night we received donations of up to 65 sports bras which is an incredible effort from those that donated. But why stop there? If you would still like to be involved, please contact us to donate.

However, that’s not the end of the conversation, let’s continue to talk about it! Share with your peers what this project is doing; tell a friend about why it is important to wear a sports bra; talk to your daughters when they hit puberty and educate them on it being just another key item that forms part of their equipment list for playing sport.

Empowering girls in sport isn’t personal, it’s essential.