Issue date
1 May 2023

Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women has today launched a $500,000 contestable fund to improve women and girls’ wellbeing through participation in sport and active recreation activities. 

The Manatū Wāhine Physical Activity and Wellbeing Fund aims to support community-led initiatives that improve women and girls’ access to sport and active recreation activities. It is focused on supporting women and girls who face barriers to participation or who are not well supported by mainstream programmes.

The fund has been set up with investment from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as part of its work to maximise the impacts and benefits of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 for Aotearoa New Zealand.  

“Being physically active has positive effects for young women and girls, promoting feelings of accomplishment, self-worth, and empowerment. This fund is about supporting programmes and initiatives that nurture the wellbeing of women and girls in all their diversity,” said Secretary for Women and Manatū Wāhine Chief Executive, Kellie Coombes. 

Research shows there is a persistent gender gap in participation rates in sports and active recreation, particularly for young women, and that women and girls are less likely to access the physical, social, and emotional benefits of sport and recreation.  

“The Manatū Wāhine Physical Activity and Wellbeing Fund is a great example of how we can leverage major events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup to empower women and girls and leave a lasting legacy for our communities,” Kellie Coombes said. 

Manatū Wāhine welcomes applications from eligible not-for-profit community organisations to improve women and girls’ access to existing sport and recreation opportunities or to provide programmes that meet the needs, wants and aspirations of women and girls in their community.

The fund will be open from 11am, Monday 1 May to 11am, Monday 29 May 2023. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in early-July 2023.

More information on the fund can be found on the Ministry for Women website.

More information about the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 can be found at: