THE Minyip-Murtoa Football Netball Club has become the first Wimmera sporting club to join the Women’s Health Grampians CoRE (Communities of Respect and Equality) Alliance.
The alliance encourages organisations to create an inclusive environment through breaking down gender stereotypes, have female-friendly facilities and inclusive policies and procedures.
Minyip-Murtoa secretary Tony Baker said the board’s decision to sign up to the alliance was a simple one.
“I had heard about it through my work and as part of our strategic plan we have spoken a lot about being an inclusive club and showing respect to everyone,” he said.
“When you look at some of the statistics around domestic violence, Yarriambiack isn’t going as well as it could.
“We realised we are a big part of that community, so we wanted to try and do what we could. It took the board five minutes to decide to sign up.”
Mr Baker said the club had already made a step to make the club more inclusive and would continue to do so.
“Women’s Health Grampians has given us some really good ideas on what we can do,” he said.
“We will start doing little things differently. Instead of always putting women on the canteen rosters we will have the family names so it is up to the family.
“We want more women involved with football and men in netball. That diversity will just bring better ideas.”
Women’s Health Grampians CEO Marianne Hendron said sporting clubs have the power to bring about change in a community.
“The alliance is aimed at entities with a lot of people because it’s all about influencing attitudes and behaviours,” she said.
“Sporting clubs are so central to our communities and they are really in a position to be part of change.
“Sporting clubs can be very traditional, but at the same time they can be very progressive, innovative and can ensure change is possible. Clubs need to be inclusive and have a culture that people want to be part of.”
Mr Baker said the move was a cultural shift that many had embraced.
“It’s a cultural shift and for some it will be a challenge but others are already there,” he said.
“All clubs recognise there is a need to maintain our volunteer base and if we aren’t making people feel comfortable than we aren’t going to maintain those levels.
“We were a little bit surprised there wasn’t already a Wimmera club involved, and we are proud to be the first. We are also keen to work with other clubs to talk about what we are doing and try and help them”