How Jasmine Richwol is leading the charge for women in sports leadership
Jasmine Richwol is part of a new generation changing the face of sports leadership, with a little help from Melbourne Business School.
Jasmine is the Communications and Marketing Manager at Vicsport, the peak body for Victorian sporting clubs which covers everything from swimming to dragon boat racing, and a graduate of the Managing and Leading Change program.
"I love my job because I get to work with a variety of different sports and help run a diversity of projects, including gender equality in sport, protecting children, and working with culturally diverse communities to enhance their participation," she says.
Jasmine's office is in a heritage building next to the modern Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, where kids and future gold medallists mingle.
"There's volleyball courts, squash courts, basketball courts, a diving board behind me and, on a good day, you'll see Olympic athletes warming up," she says.
"The place is thriving with kids and community sports. There's a real buzz and sense that everyone is doing something positive for their health."
Jasmine recently received a scholarship through the Victorian Government's Change Our Game initiative, which is designed to get more women into sports leadership. To make the most of the opportunity, she enrolled in the Managing and Leading Change program at Melbourne Business School.
"Many organisations are investing time and money in getting more women involved in sport to enhance their leadership skills," Jasmine says.
"For me, change in the workplace means women having the confidence and skills to apply, alongside men, when opportunities arise. The program helped me to delve into the sort of operator I am and work toward getting people on board to achieve change in the workplace and the industry I'm in."
Having previously worked for the Australian Football League, Collingwood Football Club and Seven Network, Jasmine has an impressive record of opening traditionally male-dominated sports to women – but she is always looking to do more.
As a professional communicator, Jasmine most values the confidence the program has given her to get her message across more effectively to all of Vicsport's stakeholders.
"I now have a better working relationship with my colleagues, and my CEO and board members, because I have the skills to communicate the sort of change I'm looking for and to get them on side to elevate and push that change," she says.
Jasmine's passion for sport began with her sports-mad father, who regularly took her to local footy and AFL games and opened her eyes to how all-embracing sport can be.
"Nothing warms my heart more than seeing kids on a Saturday or Sunday playing local community sport with their parents on the sideline and their brothers and sisters at half-time all getting around together," she says.
"For me, that's where family and community sport really come together, and why I love my job. It promotes the positive messages about sport. It's about giving everyone an opportunity to really test their ability and skills. It also creates values like teamship, compassion and awareness of social issues that sport can change. I'd like to think that I'm doing my bit to elevate that profile."