Just in case Ellyse Perry hasn’t done enough – yet – to inspire young women to try and emulate her feats as a dual cricket and football international, she plans to one day use her university degree to devise programmes aimed to encourage even more female participation in Australian sport.
Women’s sport is booming, with ratings from the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League proving there is a television audience keen to watch female T20 cricket. The Matildas excelled at last year’s World Cup, Australia’s women’s rugby sevens team qualified for the Olympics, the Hockeyroos are the world’s No.1-ranked team, Michelle Payne entered history as the first woman to win a Melbourne Cup, Anna Meares remains one of cycling’s most respected champions – and that’s just scratching the surface.
In between batting for Australia, bowling for the Breakers, taking screamers for the Sixers and starring on the footy pitch, 25-year-old Perry is studying her Economics and Social Science degree at the University of Sydney. While it could potentially open careers in banking and insurance, business management, local government or even politics, Perry wants to help build upon the record numbers of females getting amongst it on the nation’s sporting fields.
“There’s various options with the degree but something I’m quite passionate about is providing opportunities for girls to play sport and to be active and healthy,” Perry said. “It could be an opportunity to tie it in with government programs that promote kids being physically active.
“The interest in women’s sport is growing every year, there’s a huge impetus from sporting organisations to ensure their female side of participation and growth . . . it is a really important factor for them. There’s more young girls and women in sport now and that’s really important and I find when you generally speak the media, and the public, they’re more willing to promote it.
“It’s an exciting place to be, actually. Sport, and the athletes who compete, play an important role in this day and age where society is fractured and disjointed and [in a time] when technology plays such a big role in our life it’s important to have sport as a community-based activity that’s inclusive of everyone. […] Click here to view original web page at www.smh.com.au