Auckland sport and recreation Women’s Event focuses on impact of events

by Aktive
Published on Thursday 11 August, 2022
Aktive Sports Organisation Women & Girls

With the theme Opportunities to accelerate change for women and girls’, the session focused on Tāmaki Makaurau’s upcoming major events and the potential positive impact for women and girls. 

Michelle Hooper, Rugby World Cup 2021 Tournament Director and Jennah Wootten, Aktive Chief Executive also shared their experiences of delivering major events in Aotearoa, emphasising the importance of a Leverage and Legacy Plan and the benefits for the host city or nation. 

Ms Wootten says: “While economic benefits are often the initial catalyst for bidding for and hosting major events, the social and community benefits are undeniable. For people like myself, it is these social and community benefits that are what really make you feel proud to work in or around a major event entity.” 

Ms Hooper shared the Rugby World Cup 2021 Champions Video and provided detail around the event’s Leverage and Legacy Plan which focuses on six pillars: 

  1. Women in Rugby Initiatives 
  2. Leadership and Governance 
  3. Value and Visibility 
  4. Accelerate the Game 
  5. Championing Oceania 
  6. High Performance. 

She encouraged the audience to “change and own the narrative” by embracing the opportunity to create history for rugby in New Zealand, sell the excitement of the high-performance rugby spectacle and enjoy the once-in-a-generation opportunity to be part of an international major sporting event and celebration that is affordable and accessible. 

The Women’s Event also provided space to identify the role we each play in ensuring events of any size are impactful for our own communities, with plenty of discussion around how to enhance the experience, environment and opportunities for women and girls.  

Key themes identified in the discussion included: 

  • Keeping the pathway wide – acknowledging the different aspects in the sector women and girls are and can be involved with, including governance, operations, playing and umpiring  
  • Finding intersecting opportunities – looking where can organisations work together around events to champion opportunities for women and girls  
  • Cost – keep the cost non prohibitive. For example the upcoming rugby world cup ticket costs are accessible for many people and families  
  • Don’t underestimate the power of passion – people do seek volunteering opportunities and for major events; in fact, some people follow major events around the world for these opportunities, so ensure these pathways are inviting, available, accessible and visible for members across our communities.  

Ms Wootten wrapped up the session by encouraging attendees to factor three aspects into their thinking: 

  1. Think early and think long – build a legacy plan that extends beyond the event hosting date, including focusing energy on extending the hosting hype and sustaining the sport outcomes post event  
  2. Tap into the knowledge – there are a number of talented, engaging, and willing women (and men) in the industry who would be only too happy to share their knowledge to benefit the sport sector more broadly 
  3. Together we go further – for sport participation outcomes to be achieved, local, regional and national partnerships are required to make things really stick. The more agencies lined up pre and post the event to help with a focus on legacy aspirations, the greater the likelihood of success.  

Thank you again to those who were able to attend this session. We look forward to providing more opportunities of this nature so we can continue to collectively learn, connect, and share with other women in the sector who are contributing to play, recreation, and sport. 

Kāhore taku toa i te toa takitahi, he toa takitini 
We cannot succeed without the support of those around us 

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