Women’s sport on the rise

February 05, 2018

Echuca Football Netball Club women's team will be playing their first game of the season on Sunday. Captain Kate Dixon and coach Mick McInnes. Photo by Luke Hemer.

THE past 12 months have brought enormous change to women’s sport in the twin towns.

And through a series of community grants, 2018 looks to be headed the same way.

After several years of women’s sport breaking ground throughout the country, Echuca made the move to be included in the inaugural Northern Country Women’s League’s football season last year.

It was a major success, with Echuca making the top four with a six and four record.

Coach Mick McInnes was named coach of the year, but the biggest story was captain Kate Dixon.

After a successful season, Dixon trialled with Richmond and as reported in the Riv, was offered a contract with its VFLW side.

In the summer, Goulburn Murray Cricket announced the start of its first all-women’s competition — for girls aged 11-14.

GMC representatives said many girls who had never played cricket before got the opportunity to play.

Three players in the comp — Tongala pair Sienna Johnstone and Maya Kellett and Echuca South’s Grace Moyle were selected to the under 14 girls Northern Rivers cricket side.

Women’s participation is on the rise. But there is a long way to go.

The Victorian Government is offering access to a slice of $400,000 worth of funding for clubs and community groups who offer women’s sporting opportunities.

Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh wants clubs in the region to apply for the grants.

‘‘These grants are designed to help our local clubs keep membership costs low and encourage everyone to get involved,’’ Walsh said.

‘‘Sporting clubs are crucial to maintaining community wellbeing and its important that we find ways to keep participation numbers high.’’

The funding allows clubs to give these young girls a chance to take that next step towards a possible career in sports.

A total of $10,000 is available to each successful applicant, with applications closing at 4pm on March 2.

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