Women + Girls RSO Initiatives

13 March 2023

Last week, the Women + Girls Leads from Cricket Wellington, Wairarapa Bush Rugby, Wellington Rugby and Capital Football met with Nuku Ora to share information and learn from each other about Women & Girls initiatives and what have been the challenges, successes, learnings and opportunities. 

Below are some of the key points we discussed: 

Changing Rooms 

Of course, getting the basics right to creating a female-friendly environment is important with things like changing rooms having doors and toilets having sanitary bins. This is still an issue for some clubs/facilities with discussions with councils ongoing but with the success of the recent World Cup events and growth in value and visibility of women’s sport, now is the time to push these conversations and seek change. 

‘Give it a Go’ Days  

Girl only ‘give it a go’ days are popular and tend to have a good response and success rate. Have music playing, make it fun, provide give-aways (free merch is a great attraction and it doesn’t have to be expensive items!) Make the event friend-centric and allow attendees to just turn up on the day – not having to sign up for it makes it easier to bring a friend (or two) along. 

With a mixture of sports, skills and drills, the Go on! Programme consisting of Rugby, Cricket, Basketball, Football, and Netball has been a great collaboration to promote participation to junior girls. With two codes delivering half an hour each on a Tuesday afternoon, the model has worked really well. Aimed at years 4-6. (8-10 year olds), participants are encouraged to register but can also just turn up on the day.  

Transitioning to Secondary School 

There’s a big drop off once girls hit secondary school. Look at what you can do to support the transition between the junior club space and secondary school college sport. How can clubs and schools work together to address this? Being able to play in a mixed team, OR a girls only team, try to have options.  

In preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, NZ Football are again running a W+G month across the country from 24 Feb-2 April. To see what Capital Football and the region’s clubs are offering, head to this link: https://www.capitalfootball.org.nz/girls-womens-month-2023-1 Registrations for the season have recently opened and clubs are being encouraged to work together for the benefit of the female player e.g. if one club doesn’t have enough girls to form a team, liaising with other nearby clubs to see if they do and working together on a solution/options for the player. 

Test your Assumptions 

What barriers do you need to remove to enable more women and girls to play and/or get involved? 

An issue rugby has come up against is primary schools thinking that girls won’t want to play tackle so they don’t offer it as an option to them – but has that assumption been tested?! 

Female Coaches 

Girls respond to being coached by a female, so how can we get more females coaching? Women will coach the young grades but once it reaches college age a lot drop off  - often with Imposter Syndrome (feeling of not being good enough) or fear of being challenged from the sidelines by ‘experts’. 

Nuku Ora is running a coaching workshop for women on 7 May at Fraser Park, Lower Hutt. Contact our Community Development Lead – Participation and Coaching, Graham Witts for more details on Grahamw@nukuora.org.nz  


Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa provides funding for programmes or projects delivering play, active recreation, and sport experiences for tamariki and rangatahi. These may be new or already operating. We know from research that there are some groups who are more at risk of missing out or being less active, including children and young people in higher deprivation communities, girls and young women (5-24), and disabled children and young people (5-18). Programmes or projects that reach these groups will be prioritised for funding. Contact Nuku Ora’s Tū Manawa fund managers before putting in an application as they can give you help and let you know if you’re on the right track.  https://www.nukuora.org.nz/funding/tu-manawa-active-aotearoa/  

The next Smaller Project Fund Round (for applications of $10,000 or less) opens on 31 March. 

Challenging the Tradition  

Some sports are still considered by girls or their whānau to be ‘boys sports’. Check out these great initiatives challenging that perception and making these sports accessible for women and girls: 

Cricket – Yeah! Girls https://www.cricketwellington.co.nz/hidden-menu-items/yeah-girls-1  

Rugby - Rugby Her Way https://www.wrfu.co.nz/herway  

Football initiatives - https://www.capitalfootball.org.nz/GET-INVOLVED-1/womens-girls-1  

Basketball - Girls Got Game https://nz.basketball/girlsgotgame/  

Rugby League - https://www.sporty.co.nz/wellingtonleague/women-1  

Change Inspires Change 

The IWG Insight Hub contains a collection of research, case studies, toolkits and news. It is designed to empower and advance gender equity and equality for women and girls in sport and physical activity worldwide. For global insights on how to inspire change in Women and Girls sport and physical activity, click here https://www.iwginsighthub.org/