Daughters & Dads Sport-Specific Programs

Background & Rationale

The significant physical, psychological, and social benefits of team sport participation are well established. However, in Australia rates of female participation in many team sports are extremely low when compared with males.  In cricket, females represent only 10% of junior participants.  Only slightly better rates are seen in basketball with 35% and football/soccer with 22% of junior players female. (Australian Cricket Census 2018/2019; AusPlay (2015-2020)).

Junior sport participation in Australia








90% MALE


78% MALE


65% MALE

Reduced opportunities and encouragement to participate, poor experiences when attempting the sport and limited sport specific skills are some of the barriers to female participation.

Daughters & Dads Sport Specific programs address barriers to girls participation by:

  • Providing a high dose of sport skill practice and consequent development as dads become their daughter’s ‘coach’
  • Immersing girls (and dads) in the sport – teaching the rules of the game and being inspired by Australian female sporting role models
  • Teaching dads about their role as key positive influencers of their daughter participation in sport
  • Teaching daughters and their dads how to combat societal gender bias that restricts girls’ participation in many sports

A four-year partnership with the NSW Office of Sport will see the University of Newcastle team work with a number of state sporting bodies to develop sport specific variants of the Daughters & Dads program (2019-2023).

Daughters & Dads Cricket was piloted in early 2020 in consultation with Cricket-NSW and Cricket Australia. Daughters & Dads Basketball is planned for delivery in late 2021 in consultation with Basketball-NSW, to co-ordinate with the 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney, NSW.

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“Girls worldwide who play sport are more likely to attend and stay in school, more likely to finish their education, more likely to be in better health and earn higher wages during the course of their lives.”  The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO 

 Details about our upcoming sport-specific programs


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We are looking for dads and their daughters

Are you a dad who wants to spend quality time with your daughter participating in fun physical activities, whilst learning how to improve her sport skills, confidence, self-esteem and resilience?

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