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It’s no secret that women’s sport in Australia has been thriving, with records continuously being broken across various events in the elite scene. This week in particular, provides just a small snippet into the current successes of the female sporting industry. 


Monday night saw the beloved Matilda’s take on China, and although the game was just a friendly match in preparation for the Olympics, the Matilda’s created a sell out crowd, hosting approximately 80,000 fans in Sydney’s Accor Stadium. Not bad for a Monday! 


The Matilda’s became crowd favourites during last year’s world cup, after which, many were sceptical if the fan frenzy would continue. However the mid-week sell out and tv ratings above 2 million, prove Australia’s love for the Tillie’s is here to stay. 


Thursday night saw the second match of the NRLW’s State of Origin take place with the best of female NSW and QLD Rugby League taking to the field at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium. Following the men’s opening match on Wednesday, it was clear Australia was still ready for more Origin action. Despite unfavourable weather, a sold out crowd of over 25,000 showed up to support their states, not only making it the highest attended women’s Origin match in history but also the highest viewed with  a record number of fans also tuning in from home. 


2024 is the first year the Women’s State of Origin was given the opportunity to host a full three match series, and the expansion has proved a major success for the NRLW franchise. Beginning 2018 with only 4 clubs, the NRLW now hosts 10 teams and is set to only keep growing. No longer viewed as just a curtain raiser for the men’s games, NRLW is attracting an entirely new fanbase to the sport, simultaneously bringing in profits for participating clubs. The origin series decider is set to take place in Cairns later this month, and tickets are recorded to be selling out fast. 


The Suncorp Super Netball has also seen a record breaking start to their season, proving they can put a controversy-filled 2023 behind them. The opening round had the highest average attendance ever for the league, with over 80,000 fans heading to venues around the country. The support has continued throughout the season, with several games selling out and live streaming records broken across both Foxtel and Kayo Sports. 


The lead up to the Paris Olympics has also seen the spotlight on several female athletes. Lauren Jackson, Jess Fox, Emma McKeon and Ariane Titmus are just some of the many fan favourites set to rake in viewership numbers when they take to the international stage in July. The Paris Olympics is also set to be the first in history with an equal 50:50 ratio of both male and female athletes. 


So what is driving this rapid increase of visibility? 


Elite women’s sport in Australia has not only become an industry that can sustain itself, but one that has serious economic benefits, in which many companies outside the sporting world are now recognising. This increase in sponsorships and partnerships allows female sporting bodies to maintain status at a competitive level and increase their platforms and visibility. And although the battles against their male counterparts for air time and column space still continues today, what we can see from this week alone, is that when women’s sport is given the opportunity to thrive, it will.


Written by Victoria Guest, PR & Influencer Coordinator @ InsideOut PR 


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