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Fund launched to support women’s and girls’ sports in the greater Christchurch area

Black Sticks legend Gemma McCaw has been named an ambassador for the Women in Sport Fund.

Brett Phibbs / Photosport

Black Sticks legend Gemma McCaw has been named an ambassador for the Women in Sport Fund.

The great Gemma McCaw of Black Sticks will be the ambassador for a new Women in Sport Fund to support women and girls’ sports in the greater Christchurch area.

The Women in Sport Fund is an initiative of the Christchurch Foundation in collaboration with ChristchurchNZ, Sport Canterbury, High Performance Sport New Zealand and the Christchurch City Council.

The new fund, announced Wednesday at Hagley Oval, is a legacy project for the greater Ōtautahi Christchurch area as a celebration of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup hosted by the city early next year.

The purpose of the fund is to encourage and inspire the participation of women and girls in sport both on and off the field.

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Scholarships are offered to athletes, coaches and officials based in the Christchurch area to increase their awareness and success. Four scholarships are awarded annually.

Grant recipients must share their stories at a number of events and on social media each year to inspire other women and girls.

Retired black sticks legend McCaw, who represented New Zealand at three Olympic Games, will be the ambassador. The 31-year-old announced her retirement last year, won 254 appearances in the black jersey and scored 72 goals.

The participation of women and girls in organized sport in the greater Christchurch area could be improved.

Stacy Knappen / Stuff

The participation of women and girls in organized sport in the greater Christchurch area could be improved.

McCaw, mother of two young daughters, was excited to join the initiative, which will help foster strong supportive relationships for women and girls involved in sports.

While women made up about half of the population, participation by women and girls in organized sport in the greater Christchurch area and New Zealand showed that there is still much to be done.

Only 24 percent of the coaches were women and 27 percent of the managing directors / organizational leaders of the regional sports organizations were women. In addition, 32 percent of the officials were women and 37 percent of the board members of the regional sports organizations were women.

Fortunately, 41 percent of the volunteers, 42 percent of the participants and 47 percent of the paid workers were female.

“More than two thirds of the population cited equality as one of the most important priorities for targeted philanthropy. As a result, the Christchurch Foundation has several initiatives underway in what we call Opportunities for All, ”said Amy Carter, executive director of the Christchurch Foundation.

“Sport was a logical focus because it is a shared passion that transcends diversity and connects people. It is important for both physical and mental health, and it gives people a strong connection with others. All of this is important so that our residents feel comfortable.

“Starting this program on the back of a [cricket] World Cup makes it even more exciting. “

The foundation is looking for donations to expand the fund, both for scholarships and to set up an endowment fund. It is hoped that additional programs can be added as the fund grows.

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