Michelle Payne’s triumph as the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup has been well documented. It’s a feat that truly deserves all the coverage it has received. As so eloquently pointed out by Sam Squiers from Sportette, Michelle Payne had her moment last Tuesday and it wasn’t about winning the Cup. In her post-race interview, she called-out the chauvinism she has encountered throughout her career and indeed in the lead up to the Melbourne Cup. Like the Matildas’ industrial action earlier this year, Michelle Payne has put inequality in sport on the agenda.
It has been a big year for women’s sport in Australia. As well as Michelle Payne and the Matildas’ world cup success; the Southern Stars and Netball Diamonds have won the Ashes and Netball world cup respectively. Participation in women’s AFL continues to boom and will only get bigger after the national free-to-air coverage last August. We have seen monumental shifts occurring in women’s sport, but we are still a long way from seeing true equality*.
The gender divide that still exists in sport is the reason I came up with the ‘Change Her Game Pledge’. In order to honour our female athletes, like Michelle Payne, we must mobilise popular support for women’s sport. If we each take a proactive role in supporting women in sport, we can create change.
If you haven’t already, jump onto Twitter or Instagram to tell us how YOU will support women in sport and use the hashtag; #CHGPledge.
Together we can Change Her Game.
*Not all sports are the same. Click here to read about how Hockey Australia have achieved gender parity.