Effects of Sport Uniform Policy Changes to Girls and Women

24 March 2022
Professor Clare Hanlon and swimmers
Written by: Swimming Victoria

As part of Swimming Victoria’s commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive swimming environment for all, last year we partnered with Victoria University and Change our Game to survey our female membership on the changes to Swimming Australia’s  competition swim wear policy -Inclusive Swimwear Policy.

The survey was part of the Effects of Sport Uniform Policy Changes to Girls and Women study, led by Professor Clare Hanlon at the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University.  The study found flexible uniform policies and regulations improved girls’ and women’s comfort, readiness and desire to play, with 48% agreeing these policies encourage ongoing participation in sport.

In regard to swimming, 17% of survey respondents reported a decision to recently change swimwear during competition. The change related to respondents being able to choose the type of swimwear they wanted to wear according to the recently introduced national swimwear policy.

Professor Clare Hanlon said, “This is a land-mark study that shows flexible uniform policies that enable girls and women to choose what they want to wear, assists with improved comfort, readiness and desire, in this case to swim competitively. It enables more freedom, increased confidence and girls and women feel less self-conscious and can focus more on swimming.”

Results from the survey can be viewed here.

Earlier this week, Professor Clare Hanlon was interviewed at MSAC with 5 female swimmers from Western Melbourne Propulsion, Anna Li, Jackie Monaghan, Dominique Hart, Ruby Knott and Sian Whittaker.

The interview was featured on Channel 7 News. Watch it here.

Swimming Victoria looks forward to continuing to work with Victoria University and Change our Game to encourage female participation in swimming.

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