Tassie women in the lead

Source: The Advocate, Tasmania

Tasmanian women are among the most active in the nation, according to the latest Bureau of Statistics figures.

They are participating as much as men in sport and physical recreation, which is unusual.

The ABS study revealed that 69 per cent of Tasmanian women actively participated in organised and non-organised sport between 2011-12, falling behind only the elite sports training hub of the Australian Capital Territory, where a 79 per cent participation rate was recorded.

Twenty-four-year old Devonport sportswoman Tess Langworthy dedicates up to five hours a week to the Tasmanian Women’s Football League.

Since the women’s league began three years ago, Miss Langworthy has seen the popularity of the sport grow in leaps and bounds.

“I remember when the roster started three years ago there were only three teams statewide,” she said.

“Today there are seven teams, with about 30 women in each.

“And it’s very competitive too.

“I play for the Burnie Dockers and . . . you have to really work hard to be selected each week.”

Miss Langworthy said when women first began playing in the league, men appeared to be “intimidated”, but over time the relationship between the sexes has become “supportive”.

“There are so many opportunities for women to play sport in Tasmania and personally I can’t see any reason for girls not to be getting involved,” she said.

“You have netball, swimming, and of course then there is crossfit, which has just taken the state by storm.

“Personally, I couldn’t live without sport.”

In the state figures, 57.7 per cent of Tasmanian women were taking part in non-organised sport only, while 26.7 per cent took part in organised sport only.

The study revealed that 38.1 per cent taking part in sport and physical recreation in Tasmania were aged 18 to 24 and 28 per cent were aged 65 and over.

It showed 54.2 per cent of participating women had played sport 105 times or more in the past 12 months, while 3.4 per cent had played as few as between one and 12 times in that period.

The greatest rise in participation rates was by unemployed women, who over 2011-12 experienced an 18.5 per cent rise.

Contributing to the 69 per cent of Tasmanian women participating in sport are Burnie Dockers Tess Langworthy (left) and Alena MacDonald. Photo: Katrina Dodd.

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