Gold Coast women in sport surges, with major event to be held

It’s been revealed the Gold Coast has won the bid to host Australia’s annual Women in Sport Summit for 2022.

It comes as women’s participation in sports across the city hits a record-high this season.

Deputy Mayor Donna Gates says the event is a major coup, with hundreds of sporting delegates expecting to attend.


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“We’ve attracted the largest conference in the Southern Hemisphere for women in sport, so it’s a great day for the city,” Cr Gates says.

“We’ve been making advances in women’s sport and all sports on the Gold Coast since the Commonwealth Games, and this is a great opportunity to again showcase our city.”

AFL, touch football and netball across the Gold Coast have all experienced major growth this year, with record numbers of female participants.

Alison Drennan from the Gold Coast Suns says events like this are so important to inspire future generations.

“AFL in the women’s category is just growing exponentially, which is amazing to see,” Ms Drennan says.

“So I think attracting the Women in Sport Summit here on the Gold Coast is just going to be awesome for the city and also for women’s sport here,

“When I was growing up, there wasn’t a lot of representation of women in sport so having someone to look up to and just to chase is amazing for young women.”

Queensland now has the second-highest AFL female participation numbers in the country behind Victoria.

While the biggest touch footy program on the Gold Coast, Palm Beach Touch, have experienced a 20% increase in women’s participation, with a ratio of 60% female players to 40% male.

In Netball, the Queensland Netball Carnival on the Gold Coast saw a 30% increase in teams this year.

Image: Supplied

Ashleigh Keefe from Gold Coast Titans Netball team says having the event held here on the Gold Coast means a lot.

“I think a really big part of it is just encouraging the younger generations to give it a go because it’s just such a fantastic opportunity,” Ms Keefe says.

“I’m proud to be playing on the Gold Coast in the city that’s growing in sport and women’s sports areas.”

The Women in Sport Summit will be held at Crowne Plaza on 8 September, 2022.