Steph Cooke stands between two young women in football uniforms.
Steph Cooke with members of the Narrandera Eagles at SCCF Round 3 announcements. Please note this is a file photo and dates prior to social distancing measures.

Sporting facilities in the Cootamundra electorate will be able to apply for funding to create new or improved women’s change rooms and amenities thanks to a boost from the NSW Government’s $2 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said $50 million will be available for women’s sporting facilities through Round Four of the Stronger Country Communities Fund, with applications for the $100 million round to open in May 2021.

Ms Cooke said a lack of quality facilities can be a barrier for women interested in playing community sport.

“We know that across the Cootamundra electorate more and more women are playing a wide range of sports and it’s vital they have the facilities they need to get involved,” Ms Cooke said.

“I want to see clubs and facilities across the Cootamundra electorate put applications in for this fantastic fund, this is a once in a generation investment in to our communities and a real chance to break down the participation barriers for women in sport.”

“Whether it’s a spruce-up of existing facilities or creating new spaces, I urge everyone to put in for this funding and help make more women feel welcome.”

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said long gone are the days of men’s only soccer, AFL, rugby and cricket and women deserve the same standards when they play.

“The NSW Nationals are building a safer and stronger regional NSW and building these new facilities will increase participation and allow women and girls to receive the social and health benefits associated with sport,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Women have been flying the flag for Australian sport with our international teams achieving incredible status on the world platform, and many of these athletes come from regional communities.

“Access to designated female change rooms will be a huge benefit to our future Matildas, Opals, Hockeyroos, Jillaroos and Wallaroos, as well as grassroots athletes.”

The $50 million will be made available through the Stronger Country Communities Fund Round four to meet strong demand for further high quality community and sports-related infrastructure projects.

Further details about Round Four of the program, including guidelines and eligible applicants, will be available on the Regional Growth Fund website in coming months.