South Australia’s annual sprint-race, the Bay Sheffield, will celebrate 130 years with a boost of State Government funding – seeing an increase in the women’s prize pool to the equivalent of their male counterparts.
In the past, women’s prize money has totalled $10,000, with the men’s at nearly double. For the first time in 2016, the event will see an equal prize of $20,000 for both the men’s and women’s race.
More than 460 competitors are expected to enter this year’s event, with more than 160 travelling from interstate.
The Bay Sheffield is one of 31 events to share in more than $380,000 through the 2016/17 round of the State Government’s Regional Events and Festivals Program.
The 2016 event will be held from 27-28 December. For more information visit www.saal.org.au
Quotes attributable to Tourism and Recreation and Sport Minister Leon Bignell
This is fantastic news – the Bay Sheffield together with the State Government is sending an important message about removing disparities in prize money for men and women.
Women’s sport in South Australia is on an upward trend and drawing the big audiences it rightfully deserves. We have a growing list of incredible events including the Women’s T20 Cricket, the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Golf Open, the Santos Women's Tour Down Under, as well as recently hosting the International Netball Quad Series.
The State Government is actively looking to find ways to increase the profile and participation of sports at all levels – from the grassroots to the elite, and we expect this elevation in prize money will see an increase of women’s race entries to this year’s Bay Sheffield.
In this year’s mega sport state budget the State Government pumped in an extra $40 million into sport and announced $10 million for female change rooms at sporting clubs across South Australia. The State Budget also included an additional $70 million in tourism funding to market South Australian nationally and internationally and attract major events.
Quotes attributable to SA Athletic League Inc President Brendan Golden
The SA Athletic League has worked hard to build the quality and profile of the Women’s Bay Sheffield.
We are delighted that we can mark the occasion of the 130th Bay Sheffield carnival with equal prize money for the men’s and women’s races. The development continues the great momentum of the sport of pro running.
Quotes attributable to Athletics Coach Peter O’Dwyer
We’ve watched the Women’s Bay Sheffield develop in recent years to become a major Australian race. The prize money increase reflects the national standing of the event and I know my runners will be keen to win it.
I loved competing at the Bay Sheffield myself and I’m looking forward to introducing my squad to it. They won’t have seen anything like it.
Quotes attributable to 2009 Women’s Bay Sheffield winner Pirrenee Steinert
The prize money increase is a fantastic development for women’s athletics. The Women’s Bay Sheffield is such a tough race to win and it’s great to see that recognised.