Parry: time to back women's sport

Shannon  Parry Profile
by Shannon Parry

What is the biggest barrier that women in sport face? Money.

Most Female athletes seem to typically have to juggle a job with their sporting aspirations, with only a select few able to survive financially with the demands of being a professional athlete, a full-time commitment without a full-time compensation.

With few sponsors willing to throw their money where their mouth is, many women are faced with this reality as they work their way through their sporting pathways.

Last week, then, was one of the most significant in recent memory for women’s sport.

In the last seven days, Buildcorp made a statement, one the Australian Rugby Union is very proud to endorse, becoming the first naming rights sponsor of the women’s XVs team, the Wallaroos.

Buildcorp bosses Tony and Josephine Sukkar have always been supporters and sponsors of grassroots rugby and with women’s rugby among the fastest growing sports not only in Australia but around the world it was a perfect business investment opportunity for them.

Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry with Buildcorp executive Josephine Sukkar at last week's announcement. Photo: ARU MediaWith the 2017 Women’s XVs World Cup next year in Ireland and the Women's XVs National Championship kicking off next week, it was the  perfect time to jump on board. Their investment and support will not only help the national team, but grassroots teams as well.

Investors like these support gender equality and see these women as good role models in an ever-challenging male dominated sport. This is a stepping stone for women’s rugby and hopefully other companies will follow suit and commit to investing in women and the development of the game.

What this sponsorship means in performance  terms is that we can ensure our best players front up in Sevens and XVs.

 This year the Australian women’s sevens team are prospective medal contenders at the Rio Olympics.

With the World Championship in XVs to be held in Ireland in 2017, through this new sponsorship agreement, Australia can now be more confident of being able to put our best 15 players on the field to capture the title of World Champions.

Another case of investment in women’s sport is that of that the AFL. Just last week they announced that they will be starting up a competition for their female counterparts.

Traditionally a male dominated sport similar to rugby, they have found new avenues of investment through women's AFL.

The AFL has really supported women’s football, televising matches as double headers with the men and television ratings justifying that effort.

The AFL has embraced women’s football in recent seasons

Australia's Women's Sevens have seen plenty of success so far .Photo: Getty ImagesThese corporate investments are changing the women’s sporting world.

They are creating opportunities that most women would never have considered.

With these investors showing support towards women’s games it is also creating opportunities for the women playing the game as well.

Creating positive role models that are creating pathways for the grassroots of the game and attracting more female supporters, players and volunteers to their sports.

Sport attracts a very diverse range of people so why should women be restricted on opportunities within their sport?

Show your support and back women in sport.