The City of Gold Coast will this year host the annual Women in Sport Summit, acknowledging the impact female sport is having on the region.

The Gold Coast SUNS AFLW team in 2020 became the first national female sporting team to represent the Gold Coast, and since then participation in the sport has continued to grow exponentially.

Female participation in Australian Rules Football across the Gold Coast has reached record highs in the 2022 season and is the fastest-growing sector of the sport.

Queensland now has the second-highest AFL female participation numbers in the country behind Victoria.

Since the SUNS’ entry into the AFLW competition, Junior Girls participation is up 41% on the Gold Coast which has seen the introduction of a new Under 9 girls competition in 2021.

SUNS AFLW Club Champion Alison Drennan said it was fantastic to see women’s sport on the Gold Coast recognised with this major event coming to the region.

“AFL in the women’s category is just growing exponentially which is amazing to see, so to attract the Women in Sport Summit here on the Gold Coast is going to be awesome for the city and women’s sport here,” Drennan said.

“When I was growing up there wasn’t a lot of representation of women in sport so having someone to look up to and to chase is just amazing for young women.”

Deputy Mayor for the Gold Coast Donna Gates said: “The Gold Coast is enjoying a strong economic resurgence, with intrastate migration levels at record highs, leading to strong participation numbers and an increasing interest in women’s sport.

“Our city has continued to attract sporting events both on a national and international level, including international competitions in BMX, gymnastics, wheelchair basketball, swimming and hockey - all now part of our sporting calendar.”.

“Hosting the annual Women in Sport Summit through Ministry of Sport is an extension of how far we have come as city, and a great opportunity to open up conversations around equity, participation and recognition – all important subjects as we head towards the 2032 Olympics.”

CEO and Founder of Ministry of Sport Ben Parsons Said: The sports industry for the Gold Coast is estimated to be worth $747 million to the Gold Coast economy each year and growing, as it becomes home to over 300 sports clubs, 14 major professional sporting complexes, 8 aquatic centres and over 50 golf courses.

“It makes it the perfect destination to host our Women in Sport Summit for 22 and an important time to heighten the discussion as we see growth across all areas of women in sport – from sporting businesses, sporting administrators to athletes and the wider community.”

The Ministry of Sport Women in Sport Summit “In The Game” will be held at Gold Coast’s Crowne Plaza on 8 September.