Leichhardt Oval To Be Hub For Women’s Sport

Inner West Council

Media release

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne

If Leichhardt Oval is renovated and saved it will become a hub for women’s sport Including soccer, rugby league and rugby union at the professional, grassroots and junior levels.

Speculation about whether Leichhardt will finally receive fair funding for a renovation has so far focused on the Wests Tigers use of the ground but making a home for women’s and girl’s sport is the centrepiece of the Leichhardt Oval Masterplan.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that female sporting organisations across Sydney and Australia would gain the biggest benefit of saving the ground with a goal of 50 per cent of all sporting fixtures to be women’s sporting teams.

“Of course, we want to keep Wests Tigers playing at the eighth wonder of the world but our vision for the future of this famous ground is as a women’s sporting hub,” Byrne said.

“Leichhardt Oval is already hosting a massive range of women’s sport and that will increase if the ground is renovated and saved.

“Eight of the FIFA women’s world cup teams trained at Leichhardt last year, including the Spanish team holding their captain’s run there before winning the final.

“This year the Sydney FC Women’s team have made Leichhardt their home ground and the atmosphere at their games has been sensational. We want to make Leichhardt their permanent home too.

“The Wests Tigers NRLW team is playing 2 games there this year in addition to the 5 games the men’s team is playing at the ground.

“Of the 120 sporting fixtures already scheduled this year at Leichhardt Oval 30 are women’s games and we can drive that number up further.

“That’s why installing modern, female friendly change rooms is the highest priority of the Leichhardt Oval Masterplan.

“Saving Leichhardt Oval is an opportunity for governments to deliver the dedicated new facilities needed to match the massive growth in women and girls’ participation in sport at all levels.”

Women’s sporting teams that have played at Leichhardt Oval in recent years include:

  • Sydney FC
  • The Matildas (training)
  • NSW Waratahs women
  • 8 FIFA women’s world cup teams (training)
  • Wests Tigers NRLW
  • A variety NRLW teams including hosting multiple NRLW finals games
  • International rugby league test matches, including PNG, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji
  • An annual female festival of football for junior soccer clubs

/Public Release. View in full here.