WomenCANPlay: a Great Ydea

1 March 2016

11351310_1426705634317487_1435293750716862828_nGreat Ydeas is YWCA Canberra’s small grants program, providing up to $2,000 to women to help kickstart a great idea for a business, community development project, or to support professional development or education and training opportunities.

Applications are currently open for Great Ydeas, and we’ll be featuring some of our amazing past recipients over the next few weeks to highlight what can be achieved through a grant.

Hannah Massingham and Billi McCarthy-Price were recipients of a Great Ydeas grant in 2015, and used it to found womenCANplay, a website for women seeking to get involved with sporting activities in Canberra. Here we chat to them to find out how it’s all going, and to inspire you to apply for a grant of your own!

What inspired you to apply for a Great Ydeas small grant?

We both experienced a bit of difficulty getting involved in sport when we first moved to Canberra – either the websites we visited were missing key information or had not been updated for a few months or the emails we sent out for more information went unanswered. We wanted to help other women who encountered this problem by solving it with our own one-stop-shop website – womenCANplay – and help women get involved in sport in the ACT. We first heard about the Great Ydeas grant from Hannah Wandell, who used her grant to establish Country to Canberra, and were so inspired we decided to submit our own application.

What have been the highlights of preparing for womenCANplay so far?

The media attention we received when we first won the grant was very exciting and interesting – radio interviews on ABC Drive and a news clip on WIN were definitely highlights! But mostly it’s the positive reception we’ve received from other women and sporting clubs who are really excited and show great support for our mission to make it easier for women to get involved in sport.

How has the funding you received from YWCA Canberra influenced this?

We have been able to use the money to build our website, which is the foundation piece of our project. We wanted it to be a fun, fresh, and feminine website that could inspire and empower women with all the information and news and updates they need to make the choice to get involved in sports in the ACT. We are also offering small support grants for women whose only barrier to getting involved is meeting the many different costs involved in participating – if that’s the only thing stopping them from reaping the many positive benefits from sport, then we want to help bridge that gap!

What has been unexpected about the way womenCANplay has unfolded?

We have had to deal with a number of different changes in our personal circumstances: job changes, moving interstate and then back to the ACT, and minor surgery to name just a few – so we’ve had to rise above those challenges and keep the pace going to achieve our goal of launching the website and supporting pieces by mid-March.

What are the issues you continue to face, or that you foresee in the future, and how do you plan to address them?

We’ve had a few changes of plan, but we’re powering through and hope to address these through teamwork, clear communication, and good time management. We’re lucky to have each other to bounce ideas off, share the to-do list and help manage our communication and connections with the community. The future promises lots of exciting things for womenCANplay and we hope to continue to develop and expand the project as more women use our site and as we build a network of sports women in Canberra. Watch this space!

Applications for the 2016 round of Great Ydeas small grants close Friday 25 March. Apply now!

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