Minerva Network's Queensland chapter held its inaugural Mentor breakfast on Monday, attended by Queensland women leaders in sport and business. The roundtable event, hosted by Suncorp, was opened by Minerva Network Chairman Christine McLoughlin. Minerva Queensland Chapter leader Dr. Sarah Kelly provided an overview of the growth and vision for the Minerva Network, acknowledging Minerva has a unique platform in Australia to develop elite athletes through its trusted network. Current and future Minerva Network Mentors participating in the discussions included Minerva Legend Natalie Cook OAM OLY, Dr. Catherine Ball, Eugenie Buckley, Cecile Wake, and Rachel Condos-Fields.
Dr. Sarah Kelly referenced a recent study showing womens sport is facing a 10x growth in commercialisation over the next 5 years, where Minerva mentors have the opportunity to make an indelible impact in creating the pathway for the future leaders of Queensland and Australia.
Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) CEO and author of “The Talent Lab”, Chelsea Warr commented to the room of business leaders “If I were an athlete and had the opportunity to be mentored by a C-suite executive in the form offered by the Minerva Network - it’s a no brainer”.
NRL Commissioner, Kate Jones (former Minister for Innovation and Tourism Development) spoke about the importance of leadership from the top in creating equal opportunities for women in sport.
Jenny Hutchison, Suncorp Super Netball Ambassador referred to evidence showing women’s sport sponsorship opportunities are starting to mature as the sports professionalise, and that this market will only grow. For Suncorp Super Netball, broadcasting flowing from the COVID lockdowns has been a further catalyst to accelerating viewership numbers as well as grassroots initiatives, demonstrating the health and community benefits of sports participation.
"Sport holds enormous capacity to propel gender equality and womens and girls' empowerment" (UN Women). Minerva is focused on supporting women athletes to achieve their full potential and to “normalise” equality in all sport and society. Minerva continues to play a key role in promoting aspirational role models for the community and the network is open to elite women athletes from all sports.