The current crowd record is 90,185, set at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final in Pasadena, California, but next year Cricket Australia is hoping to surpass those figures. It’s the perfect storm, with the Women’s T20 World Cup Final, set to be held in Melbourne on International Women’s day (March 8). The aim? To put women’s equality in sport firmly on the agenda.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the median full-time annual income for a professional male sportsperson is $67,652, however women in the same category only earn $42,900. That is a sizeable average pay gap of $24,752 and that gap only widens when you look at top-tier athletes. For example, in the soccer World Cup, if the Matildas had won the entire competition, they would have received $4 million in prize money. That figure is just half of what the Socceroos earned for simply qualifying to play in the World Cup. It’s time, quite literally, to change the game.
It’s set to be an exciting day; the Australian team is chasing it fifth T20 World Cup title and some of our country’s finest sportspeople, including captain Meg Lanning and superstar allrounder Ellyse Perry, will take to the field to defend their title as world champions. But even more exciting is the message that this event sends to women and girls alike on International Women’s Day. It gives us chills just imagining a deafening crowd made up of parents, children, young boys and girls, teenagers, men and women all there to cheer on our girls.
Even pop superstar Katy Perry will be there to root for them, bringing her own brand of empowerment to the stage both pre-and post-match, in what will be her only appearance during her Australian visit.
So let’s get behind our girls, show our support and send the message that we demand women's equality in sport – and wider afield – forever. And let’s have a fun day in the sun while we’re doing it.
Tickets available here.