Women are far less likely to get involved in the physical activity they need, and Gateway Health wants to send a message that getting active can be a really positive move.
Department of Health and Human Services data shows that only 42 per cent of Wodonga residents are meeting physical activity guidelines.
That number is likely to be far less for women.
The “North East Women Get Active” campaign from Gateway Health and The Border Mail will showcase females who are playing sport or other physical activities at all levels and costs.
Gateway Health’s health promotion coordinator Ellie Stringer said there is a direct link between physical activity and health and wellbeing, but many people were not getting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
She said while many men are out of the family home a couple of nights per week for footy training, some people still have the idea that women should be at home with children instead of spending money on sport.
“There’s that feeling of guilt, that old mentality still exists,” she said. “If there’s areas to get changed and even having little play areas for children, it’s a big incentive for women to be able to play because otherwise they’re just sitting on the sidelines.”
Wodonga councillor Kat Bennett said the council also wanted to see an increase in females playing sport.
“One of the reasons is women think they’re more judged for being in activewear, being seen being sweaty in public, which is a ridiculous social norm,” she said.
“There still aren’t as many options for women in organised sports as well, so we’re trying to work on that.”
Cr Bennett said it was important to showcase role models for women and girls, as shown by the huge uptake in archery following The Hunger Games and Brave movies.
“It’s this concept that you can’t be what you can’t see, so if women and girls can’t see these things they think ‘that’s not an option for me’,” she said.
“We’ve got money committed in the budget for several other projects to try to get more of the ‘female friendly facilities’, money (as used to build new facilities at Emerald Oval) to try to get those facilities and change rooms that women need.”
The “North East Women Get Active” campaign will continue to showcase females in sport, in partnership with Gateway Health.
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