A week after launching the 2020 Women in Sport Photo Action Awards (#WISPAA), Women Sport Australia (WSA), the national advocacy body for women in sport, has called for submissions that highlight the unique value that female teams have added to elite professional competitions and clubs especially those traditionally male sports such as AFL, NRL and football.
With almost all sport around the world stopping as countries focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19, WSA are seeking images of sportswomen in action to showcase the amazing power of sport during this unprecedented time.
“By running our #WISPAA online photography competition we look forward to being able to showcase amazing photos of Australian sportswomen doing what they love at a time when they can’t,” WSA President Carol Fox said.
“We see the timing of this year’s competition as a unique opportunity to remind everyone how far sport has advanced in the past few years, especially how the addition of female competitions and teams have strengthened traditionally male clubs and sports.”
“At a time when sports, along with our entire community, are re-assessing where to prioritise resources it’s critical to highlight how the addition of elite female competitions and teams have helped pushed recent growth in participation rates across many sports, opening them up to new and diverse participants and viewing audiences.”
When all sports will be competing for participants and viewing eyeballs, any retrograde measures at this point would be short term in their application and potentially set a sport back for decades – we’ve seen the power of elite role models on grassroots participation and everything this equality brings. Now is not the time to take foot off the accelerator as our next generation of players and viewers are making new choices, not shackled by what has traditionally been set out for them.”
Images can be entered for #WISPAA that were taken between 1 May 2019 and 30 April 2020 with two award categories: one for professional photographers and one for amateur photographers.
The 2019 inaugural #WISPAA competition attracted hundreds of images from around Australia with Victorian Michael Willson crowned the professional winner for his AFLW image ‘The Kick’ and West-Australian Johan Schmidt named the amateur winner for his women’s rugby union image ‘The hit-up’.
To enter in 2020, photographers can submit up to three photos of Australian sportswomen in action via WSA’s dedicated #WISPAA web page.
Photos submitted must show an Australian sportswoman or sportswomen aged over 18 actively participating in sport at any level in Australia. The sport can be amateur or professional. Judges will favour photos that depict the athleticism, strength and the skill of a woman or women aged over 18 participating in sport. Further terms and conditions can be found on the #WISPAA website.
WISPAA entries will close on May 31.
Image: 2019 WISPAA Submission taken by George Loupis