Hosting the women’s world cups for cricket, football, and rugby in a two-year period will do a huge amount to get Kiwi women and girls involved in sport, says the co-chair of Women in Sport Aotearoa.
Julie Paterson said a major component of increasing female involvement in sports was visibility, which will be no issue over the next three years after a joint Australia and New Zealand bid won the right this morning to host the Women’s World Cup in July and August 2023.
New Zealand will also host the Women’s Cricket World Cup and Women’s Rugby World Cup next year.
“A huge part of getting women and sport involved in sport is visibility of other women and girls involved, being successful and demonstrating the capability and how successful they can be,” Paterson said.
She said New Zealand was also hosting a World Conference on Women & Sport in May 2022, making it four significant women’s sport events in New Zealand over three years.
“To have an opportunity to see women and girls to see women playing rugby, cricket, football and also this international conference, is going to give a huge amount of value back.”
"It gives women a pathway, it gives people aspirational ideas and thinking, it is really important as part of our drive to be increasing opportunities for women in sport in New Zealand."
“We're going to have all sorts of opportunities around how we can increase the profile of these sports that are doing really well in supporting women and girls, giving a voice to it and working with different entities throughout the country,” Paterson said.
Football Ferns player Hannah Wilkinson said watching elite women compete in her sport was something her generation had missed out.
“I remember growing up and watching men's football, nothing but men's football and just wanting to do what they did and now for a young girl to grow up and see you know women doing this, powerful women doing this, I feel like that is just such a huge impact,” she said.
The Women’s Cricket World Cup is set to be played in New Zealand in February and March, while the Women’s Rugby World Cup will be played in New Zealand in July and August.