Media Release

Aussie website heralds a new era for women in sport

Friday, 8 October 2010 sportstar.com, a new Australian website devoted to women’s sport, launches today at a time when Aussie women a celebrating early successes in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

From its go live date today, sportstar.com will be delivering regular news and updates on the progress and achievements of Aussie women in the Commonwealth Games, as well as a range of other content, including interviews with Liz Ellis (netball), Anna Meares (cycling), Casey Eastham (hockey) and Melissa Wu (diving).

The website has been developed by a group of Australian women who are passionate about women’s sport and are frustrated by the lack of coverage it receives in mainstream media. sportstar.com has been designed to address this imbalance, and to give women access to dynamic content about their sports, as well as the female sport stars they look up to.

In May this year, the Federal Minister for Sport, The Hon Kate Ellis MP, released a research report by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), Towards a Level Playing Field, which found the achievements of women in sport continue to be under represented in the Australian media.

The report revealed just how little coverage there was of women’s sport and female athletes in Australian radio, television, magazines and newspapers. It found that women in sport made up just 9% of all sports coverage in news and current affairs, and just 7% of other sports programming, while TV news stories on male sports lasted an average of 30 seconds longer than reports on female sports.

“As we were developing the website, we conducted a snap poll of women (predominantly aged 25-39), which found that 53% look for coverage of women’s sport online,” said Megan James, CEO of sportstar.com. “Meanwhile, 42% of women said they were happy with the TV coverage of women’s sport on ABC TV, less so on other channels. It also found that a massive 87% of women wanted governments to do more to encourage women’s sport in Australia.”

“Sport and fitness is a real passion for women in this country. In the snap poll, 96% of women said they kept healthy by walking, running, swimming or hitting the gym,” Megan said. “Meanwhile, tennis is our most watched sport, with 50% of women saying they watch it on TV. Interestingly, tennis is where we see more equity in the coverage of men’s and women’s sport.”

sportstar.com’s coverage of the Commonwealth Games is aimed at putting a spotlight on women in a way rarely seen in the mainstream media.

“We’re covering every female sport throughout the Commonwealth Games,” said Stephanie Vaughan, Editor of sportstar.com. “Swimming, hockey, netball, cycling, archery, you name it. We will also be posting profiles of some of the key female competitors at the Games, both Australian and international sport stars, who deserve a bigger profile.”

“The Commonwealth Games represents the perfect opportunity for us to launch sportstar.com and to engage with women right away, by giving them what they want – up to the minute, in-depth, exciting coverage of women’s sport and female sports stars.”

About sportstar.com

sportstar.com is a brand new website dedicated to women’s sport in Australia. Our vision is to address the imbalance that exists in coverage of Australian women’s sport, by delivering access to news, features, tips and advice on women’s sport and fitness, as well as interviews with, and blogs from, female sport stars. We are also focused on creating a media platform for emerging athletes, alongside professional athletes, and on helping to increase the participation in sport for girls and women. Most of all, we want sportstar.com to be a fun, informative space for everyone who loves their sport.

sportstar.com is led by Megan James, CEO; Stephanie Vaughan, Editor; Karon McGrath, Marketing Director; and Karla Bernardo, Art Director, with contributions from a range of equally sports mad writers.

Contacts

Megan James, CEO, Sportstar.com

Phone: 0418 454 953

Email: mjames@sportstar.com