window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-HR5P9HS5VG');



Photos: 1): Foundation Members Meeting 2016; 2) Photo 2: Consultation with the Hon Grant Robertson, Minister for Sport & Recreation, 2018; 3) Photo 3: Official handover of the IWG Secretariat & Conference from Botswana, 2018

Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine Hākinakina o Aotearoa, is Aotearoa’s champion for gender equity in sport and physical activity. 

WISPA is a charity that exists to transform society through leadership, advocacy and research, ensuring that all women and girls gain equity of opportunity to participate, compete and build careers in play, active recreation and sport in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We launched on UN International Women’s Day, 8 March 2017.

Our People

Women in Sport Aotearoa was co-founded by co-chairs, Julie Paterson (CEO, Tennis New Zealand) and Sarah Leberman (Professor, Massey University).

The organisation was supported from the beginning by a passionate set of Foundation Members and is now governed by a strong and committed Board.

In November 2022, Nicky van den Bos accepted the role as Acting Chief Executive after inaugural CEO Rachel Froggatt made the decision to step down following more than 4 years in the role. Meet the WISPA team.

Our Patron, the Rt Hon. Helen Clark ONZ, was announced on UN International Women’s Day, 8 March 2019 – our 2nd anniversary.

Strategic Plan

Our Vision is ‘The world’s most equitable sport system, Te Tiriti inspired.’

Our Statement of Strategic Intent has three strategic pillars: Matauranga/Knowledge, Kōkiri/Voice and Mahi Tahi/Delivery. 

Learn more through our Annual Reports.


Our programmes are varied, and include insight and researchchange leadership, leadership programmes, advocacy campaigns and speaking engagements.

In 2023, we ran a pilot of the Pacific Women’s Sports Leadership Programme, delivered in partnership with Pasifika SiS Sisters in Sport. Based on the Global Sport Mentoring programme, this leadership programme aims to empower emerging female leaders from four Pacific Island nations through mentorship and cultural exchange. 

Since 2021, WISPA and the Shift Foundation have partnered to run Whanake o te Kōpara – a young women’s leadership programme. Based on human-centred design, the programme is into its 4th cohort in 2024 and has shown great impact among the alumnae.

In 2018, our work included expert consultation into the New Zealand government ‘Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation’ Strategy. Launched in October 2018 by Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Sport & Recreation, the Hon Grant Robertson, the strategy has a $10m commitment from Sport New Zealand. Women in Sport Aotearoa is committed to assisting in its deployment wherever it can.

It was with great pride that in September 2018, we became the global delivery agent for the International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport Secretariat & Conference 2018-2022. This included administrative responsibility for the world’s largest network of experts on gender equity in sport and active recreation, responsibility for nearly 600 signatories to the Brighton + Helsinki Declaration, plus partnerships including UN Women and UNESCO. In 2022, Women in Sport Aotearoa staged the 8th IWG World Conference in Auckland and hosted 1,700+ global delegates to Auckland and online to advance strategies and initiatives for gender equality in sport and recreation. Read the news story.

In May 2018, it was announced that Women in Sport Aotearoa, in partnership with the Shift Foundation, was appointed delivery agent for the annual Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit 2019-2021. The inaugural event was staged at Te Papa in Wellington on 7 October 2019 and attracted over 340 delegates.

Find out more about our Programmes.

Support Us

Our funding comes from a mix of Grants & Trusts, Donations, Fundraising & Gifts and Commercial Partnerships, which together make Women in Sport Aotearoa’s leadership, research and advocacy work possible.

We are incredibly grateful for any support we receive. You can help too. Visit Support Us or Donate Now.         

Contact Us

Find out how to Contact Us.

IWG 2018-2022

Find out about our leadership work on the global stage

Insight Hub

Gain real insights to help you make a case for change


Catch-up on the latest from our partners at LockerRoom


Read about our work to influence gender equity in sport