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The Beginning of Women In Sport WA

Karen Hennessy

25 July 2020

Learn about our founder in this mini biography by clicking read more below!

Women in Sport WA empowers the next generation of girls by showcasing the uniqueness of grassroots sport and supports the drive to increase female participation in sport.

It is inclusive, informal, informative and inspiring. Women in sport WA puts the "IN" in women's sport

Born from one of Karen Hennessy's infamous passion projects, the organisation focuses on showcasing and promoting females throughout their varying grassroots sports because that's where the participation is.

Having a varied professional background, Karen is a secondary school Physical Education teacher who taught in the UK, Ireland and Australia. She spent summers coaching soccer in the United States and has a diploma in event management.

The Women In Sport WA founder is also no stranger to volunteering for worthy causes having founded the St Patrick's Day Parade in Perth in 2013 and helped instigate the ‘Save the Force’ campaign in 2017 after the Western Force Rugby Union team was cut from Super Rugby. Needless to say Karen loves a good cause.

Beyond anything else Karen wants to highlight the ways women and girls can include sport in their lives and work on reducing the social barriers females feel towards participating in sport.

She founded the @womeninsportwa social media accounts just before Covid hit in 2019 while she was trying to pivot in her own career into sports membership and fan engagement.

``As I was trying to go back to work as what I called ‘The 40 year old Intern’ after two children, I was trying to reach out and find other women who might have been in a similar situation to myself.”

When the lockdown ended, Hennessy was left with these social media accounts that had a new purpose and it was the Instagram platform that really took off.

“I wanted to shine a light on these women because they are so inspiring as professional and amature athletes, just so happy to be back playing sport. Sport offers so much more than physical health benefits, it aids in mental health and wellbeing in a digital age while providing a community. More importantly, it's fun. It is so important that young girls are encouraged to participate and have a space where they can find strong female role models in the sporting world and why not use the social media platforms that the kids are on to promote this.”

“There is a local community desire for relatable and inspiring images and we are offering grassroots sport an initiative platform to showcase the amazing girls and women just loving and enjoying sport at any age.” she continued

Women In Sport WA is only in its infancy and values amongst anything else the volunteers that make grassroots sports happen. When Karen realized that WINSWA was more than a social media account. She quickly assembled a group of individuals to support and guide Women in Sport WA.

This group she refers to as the “Working Group of Wonderful Women”. With names like Roslyn Harley,( National Indigenious Times, Indigenious players association and Nollamara AFC) Gillian Forde (Aurecon, Rugby WA Board and Irish Club of WA) and previously Nadia Owens, Head of Meetings and special events Optus Stadium, Chantella Perera, Hawthorn VFLW player and Head of Kojo Sports and Kristi Anner HBF Community Engagement Consultant, Director of Subiaco lions footy club and Chair of the Lions Foundation and an experienced strategic planner.

Since then this group has grown to around 30 volunteers, the mainstay of grassroots sport in WA, both male and female all wanting to use their own amazing skills and love for their sport to promote women's sport in general.

The future for Women's Sport In WA is very bright with this shining light behind it.

You can expect to find amazing and inspiring content on our FaceBook, Instagram, Podcast and Youtube channel.

So what are you waiting for, help us help support all amazing women in Western Australia!


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