Exploring the Changing Landscape of Women’s Sport


Netball SA and Flinders University have teamed up to research young women’s involvement in contemporary sports and its impact on netball.

In 2018, Netball SA successfully received funding from the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing’s Planning and Research Program for the research project.

The project titled “The promotion/engagement of contemporary sports for girls and young women: implications for netball participation” represents an exciting opportunity to explore the changing landscape on women’s sport.

Lizzie Bermingham, General Manager of Netball for Netball SA, says the research will provide sports throughout South Australia with greater knowledge around women in sport, particularly amidst the broader range of opportunities now available to females.

“This strategic research will investigate the impact of contemporary sports participation on traditional female sport in South Australia.

“We hope the outcomes of this research will provide evidence to better collaborate across female sports providers, to work together to grow female participation across all sports.

Netball SA’s Stakeholder Relations Manager, Megan Wooldridge, says the research will help explore feedback we have been receiving from the South Australian netball community.

“We had received anecdotal evidence from many of our Associations and Clubs that the rise of contemporary sports, such as women’s football may impact participation numbers.

“In order to quantify this, we applied for the funding and are now working with Flinders University to gather data.

“This involves speaking with our members, past members, other sport participants, administrators and parents.

“The research will assist with understanding what and why females are attracted to in sports, and why they may choose to leave traditional sports such as netball to pursue other sports.

Netballers may have already seen the Flinders University surveying presence at our key events including AMND game days, carnivals, the 2019 Priceline Pharmacy Country Championships and other events.

Netball SA have already connected with other leading South Australian sporting bodies to advise them of the project, so together we can better understand the evolution of sport for women in South Australia.

The research, which is expected to be completed later this year, will be provided to state and national sporting organisations and government bodies.

Netball is currently the leading women’s participation sport and top team-based sport in Australia.