Women in sport and exercise

Raising the profile of women in sport by challenging, changing and advancing the sport industry

Deakin’s Women in Sport and Exercise (WISE) hub aims to improve women’s participation in sport and exercise through world-class research, and by strengthening relationships with communities and partners. We teach skills to help women be job ready in both sport and sport-related roles.

Supporting women to participate and engage in sport

WISE builds capacity by providing the sport industry with relevant, multi-disciplinary knowledge based on world-class research.

Deakin WISE is unique in Australia and has the long-term goal of collaborating with similar overseas groups. The group hopes to influence cultural change and promote women who are positive role models with the goal of supporting all levels of participation and engagement in sport.

The Deakin WISE hub was launched in 2015 and is listed as one of five priority areas within Deakin’s Centre for Sport Research. The hub is composed of staff from the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin Business School, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Education.

We offer a range of courses that will put you on the path to a successful career in the sport and exercise industry.

Raising the profile of women in sport

Raising the profile of women in sport

Our teaching staff, students and alumni are passionate about driving participation and celebrating the achievements of women in sport. Whether it's your dream to become a coach, mentor, trainer, teacher, athlete, manager, sports researcher or health promoter, it's our mission to get you there.

Promoting women across all sporting professions

Whether it's your dream to be a coach, mentor, trainer, teacher, athlete, manager, sports researcher or health promoter, it's our mission to get you there. That's why Deakin continues to push for cultural change, drive participation and celebrate the achievements of Australia's best women athletes.

Research that supports industry

We aim to promote sport and exercise to create healthy communities, as well as build the capabilities of sport organisations to support more participation in sport.

World-class sports researchers

We are a team of world-class researchers who are coaches, parents, partners, participants, board members, supporters and fans.

#1 school of sport science in the world 

Our School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences is ranked the  #1 school of sport science in the world for three years running by the ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments 2021, 2022, 2023, making Deakin the leader in progressive, real-world sport education.

Come join us, make a difference

Deakin WISE empowers women and girls to engage in sport and sport-related activity. Learn more about collaborating with our experts and the research you can get involved in.

Come join us, make a difference

Developing involvement in exercise and sport

Studying sport at Deakin means you'll have access to world-class facilities, teachers who are industry leaders and partnerships with some of the biggest organisations in the world of sport. The WISE team assists in the following areas, promoting and supporting women’s involvement in exercise and sport.

Coaching and officiating

WISE has a strong focus on promoting more women as sports coaches and officials. We have several projects that aim to break the barriers women face entering this area, as well as encouraging and supporting their ongoing engagement.

These projects aim to move beyond a deficit model to empower and enable women coaches and officials, to successfully meet the many complex demands associated with their roles and be more effective within them.

For more information about this area of research, please contact Helen Brown, Pamm Phillips or Samantha Hoffmann.

Health and wellbeing

Our research aims to understand how women’s and girls’ involvement in sport and physical activity affects their health and wellbeing. The specific focus on women and girls allows for targeted, evidence-based approaches to sport and physical activity involvement – ensuring that the changing needs of women and girls are understood and met through the lifecycle.

For more information about this area of research, please contact Helen Brown, Lyndell Bruce, Samantha Hoffmann, Luana Main, Amanda Mooney, Katie Rowe, Natalie Saunders, or Kim Toffoletti.

Leadership and governance

This research focuses on understanding the processes, policies and pathways within sporting contexts that contribute to athlete wellbeing and development and life-long participation. A systems approach is used to examine factors that positively influence participant and athlete development. Through action research, we seek to understand and influence the health of sporting organisations and systems through action research to enhance governance, management and policy development.

For more information about this area of research, please contact Pamm Phillips.

Management and marketing

Our knowledge of the business of sport provides a strong foundation to examine a range of commercial and managerial aspects of women’s sport. We consider how women’s sport and women athletes can generate revenue by applying principles of strategic marketing. We focus on how women’s leagues are managed and how women athletes can be supported most effectively throughout their professional careers. Understanding how women engage with sport as consumers and supporters of sport is also a focus of this area of research.

For more information about this area of research, please contact Pamm Phillips, Jonathan Robertson or Katie Rowe.

Media and representation

Our research investigates women’s representation and participation in sport media. We focus on the coverage of women’s sport and recreation activities, athletic women and fans across platforms like print, television and social media. Understanding issues of representation and diversity is central to our work, as well as boosting the visibility of women in sport and physical activity.

For more information about this area of research, please contact Amanda Mooney or Kim Toffoletti.

Nutrition and dietetics

This research focuses on nutrition for women athletes, with a specific interest in the interaction between physiology and sports nutrition and factors influencing nutritional status, energy availability, gastrointestinal health and sleep. We also investigate ergogenic aids, supplementation protocols and sports performance. We use our clinical expertise in sports nutrition to work with numerous sporting organisations and provide nutritional advice and support to women athletes.

For more information about this area of research, please contact Amelia Carr, Rhiannon Snipe or Dominique Condo.

Participation and social development

Our research examines women and girls as participants in sport and physical activity to understand factors that affect their experiences and identify strategies to support their participation. With interdisciplinary expertise across education, management and sociology, we are strong advocates for the utility of sport as a vehicle for social change, with an emphasis on advancing women and girls through sport.

For more information about this area of research, please contact Helen BrownAmanda Mooney, Katie Rowe, Jonathan Robertson or Kim Toffoletti.

Sport science and performance

Our expertise encompasses the training and analysis of women in sport. We focus on the demands of exercise on women athletes and develop exercise programs that target their specific needs. We also analyse women-specific responses and adaptations to acute and chronic exercise and training, and sports performance outcomes.

For more information about this area of research, please contact Amelia Carr, Samantha Hoffmann, Luana Main, Lyndell Bruce or Natalie Saunders.

Latest articles

Empowering women's sport professionals

Deakin Associate Professor Natalie Saunders talks about how we can empower the next generation of women sport professionals.

Read more

Promoting opportunity and visibility for women in sport

Deakin’s Dr Samantha Hoffmann supervises sport and exercise physiology students, and supports the next generation of sport professionals.

Read more

Want to join our team?

Learn more about collaborating with our experts, or how you can study your honours or PhD degree with WISE.

Get in touch with the Deakin WISE team