Western Springs agree changes after successful mediation with women’s team

Western Springs’s executive committee and the club’s Women’s Premier League team say they have reached agreement on how to resolve their differences.

In a joint statement released on the Western Springs website, the parties explain the mediation process they have been through and how they have agreed a way forward.

The full statement

“We’re pleased to share an update on the successful mediation between our club and our Premier Women’s team.

“We agreed a way forward that’s resolved many of the concerns raised by the players and their supporters and will keep the team playing at Western Springs.

“Mediation followed the Premier Women’s team expressing concerns about equality of access to resources, and other issues affecting the team.

“The club acknowledges that there have been issues and apologise for failures in communication and understanding that contributed to the situation. Everyone involved committed to the mediation process in good faith, which led to a successful resolution.

Changes agreed

“A number of changes have been agreed to, which are all about making sure Western Springs sets the standard for not just football clubs in Auckland, but for sports clubs nationwide:

  • The Premier Women’s teams’ expenses budget will be increased to be equivalent with the Premier Men’s team.
  • A recruitment process to appoint a new Head of Girls and Women’s Football is underway and an announcement will be made soon.
  • Changes to Western Springs’ constitution will be recommended at our next AGM to embed a commitment to equality, diversity, and player representation on our committees.
  • An appointment process is underway for an independent advisor to develop a Girls’ and Women’s’ Programme Development Strategy, to be delivered this year.
  • The club will increase efforts to attract more women to the Senior and Executive Committees, noting there is equal gender representation on the Junior Committee now.
  • The executive has also agreed to develop a clear pathway for raising and resolving member’s concerns and issues.

Kereyn Smith to act as Transition Director

Kereyn Smith.

“To oversee the implementation of these changes, experienced and respected sports leader Kereyn Smith CNZM will act as Transition Director until the AGM in November 2023, with the support of Northern Region Football and New Zealand Football.

“Kereyn will also act as conduit between the Women’s Premier team and the club.

“The club respects the stand taken by the players and the opportunity it’s provided to learn and further improve our approach to women’s football. Despite our size as one of the largest sporting clubs in New Zealand, we’re largely run by volunteers.

“We recognise this has been an unsettling time for members and thank you for your patience – there’s work to be done, and the club will keep you informed as we progress.

“We look forward to returning focus to playing football – and of course, we’d like to see all Western Springs whānau supporting the Premier Women’s team here at Seddon and away.

“Thank you all for your patience and support.”

— Executive Committee and Women’s Premier Team, WSAFC

Springs reach last eight of Kate Sheppard Cup

On the eve of the joint statement, Western Springs’ women’s team won their Kate Sheppard Cup third round tie 3-0, knocking out holders Auckland United to reach the quarter-finals.

READ MORE: Western Springs send holders tumbling out of Kate Sheppard Cup >>>>

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