Women in News and Sport (WINS)
A training and mentoring program providing female journalists in the Asia-Pacific with the tools to carve out a career in the male-dominated world of sports media.
The Women in News and Sport (WINS) program is run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) International Development unit. From 2020-28 the program aims to address the under-representation of women in sports media in the Asia-Pacific.
WINS is a unique, niche program in the region that addresses challenges faced by women in sports media to build their capability and confidence. It is one of the few programs in the Asia-Pacific that addresses gender inequality in sports and sports media. This is an institutional collaboration between Australia’s public broadcaster and fellow media organisations and professionals in our region, drawing on the ABC’s relationships and expertise in sport, broadcasting and gender equality.
The WINS program has delivered a wide range of activities in the region with more than 130 women participants. WINS has helped integrate and mainstream female voices in sports reporting across the region through both face-to-face and online training.
The program provides skills training and industry knowledge, improves multi-platform content creation (with a special focus on women’s sport) and networks with other women in media and sport.
It offers short courses in all aspects of sports media including, but not restricted to, commentary, podcasting, investigative sports journalism, interviewing, mobile journalism and social media. It also offers mentorships for WINS alumni to travel to Australia and embed with the ABC and work alongside its sports journalists.
WINS conducts ‘on the job’ training at major international sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games, Pacific Games, FIBA 3x3 World Cup, Women’s Nations Cup, ICC T20 Women’s World Cup, World Rugby Sevens and Australian Open.
Since 2016 WINS has helped transform the careers of women of all ages and levels of experience, and this in turn has led to media organisations providing increased opportunities for women journalists and presenters. As one participant describes; “The course was life changing. After 19 years of being a sports journalist people took me more seriously and I got more opportunities”.
WINS alumni have produced hundreds of media stories and content pieces since the program began, predominantly covering women in sport, contributing to public discussion about gender equality. WINS content and training also reflects the importance of disability inclusion in sport, including through giving para-athletes a voice. WINS alumni continue to be recognised for their work globally; for example The Pacific WINS podcast series made for the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games was a finalist at the New York Festivals Radio Awards.
The WINS program is recognised by world sporting bodies for its pioneering and innovative approach to gender equality. Three WINS alumni were invited by FIFA to commentate at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in Pacific languages – this was a result of intense training they had undergone in WINS commentary workshops. This local language commentary by a Pacific women sports media team was a celebrated first.
Continued support to WINS alumni by fellow ABC broadcasters builds a long-lasting relationship between the program, trainers and individual participants that continues outside the formal training process, as one participant explains; “I get to network with other women in the industry and they have become great peers and mentors”. ABC sports journalist Tracey Holmes and ABC Board Chair Ita Buttrose are just two Australian media leaders who support the WINS program and its alumni. WINS also connects its alumni with global media through partners such as International Sports Press Association (AIPS).
Credit: ABC International Development
Credit: Aaron Kearney /ABC International Development