It's like the 1950s
Northern Beaches Council is conducting a review into women’s change room facilities across the Peninsula, as local clubs reveal their teams have been forced to change on the sidelines.
Sarah Carrington has been a player with the Warringah Rugby’s Ratettes for eight years, serving as one of the club captains for the past two years.
She says the lack of women’s changing facilities has been an issue since she first started playing the game.
“We got changed on the side of the field.
“If it we’re lucky we might have an enclosed room somewhere, but it’s either in and out of the boys’ change rooms in a couple of minutes or a temporary set up with no electricity or running water,” she explains.
“I think the big thing for us is having a shower after the game. We finish the game and a lot of the time we don’t get to do the celebrations the boys do and enjoy a few drinks because we have to go home and shower.”
Sarah welcomes the move by Council to review the facilities at the Ratettes’ Pittwater Park and all other relevant sporting ovals and premises that accommodate women’s sport on the Northern Beaches.
“When we started the discussion, it was about Rat Park, but when you start looking at the growth of women’s sports in general on the Northern Beaches, there is actually no facilities.”
Support for the review was unanimous among councillors, with local Councillor Pat Daley saying the investigation was well overdue.
“Nobody’s finger-pointing here, but it’s just something that’s gone under the radar and needs to be fixed,” he tells Peninsula Living.
“Warringah Rugby Park can be used much more effectively if there’s women’s facilities in terms of using the grounds and hiring it out. It will provide a much better return for small investment if we take some immediate action.
“It’s like the 1950s – it’s an antiquated situation and it’s about bringing it into the 21st century.”