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Jelena Dokic to front Lake Mac Women in Sport Festival


Jelena Dokic is set to become the face of this year’s Lake Mac Women in Sport Festival.

The former world No.4 tennis star will launch the annual celebration on 6 March with an ‘Inspirational Breakfast’ at Tinta Belmont, sharing stories of her life as a teen tennis sensation, and the personal and professional struggles that came with it.

Jelena Dokic will kickstart the Lake Mac Women in Sport Festival on 6 March.

“It’s an honour to have such a strong and successful sportswoman featuring this year,” Lake Macquarie City mayor Kay Fraser said.

This year’s festival kicks off on Saturday 4 March and includes a week of events and activities aimed at everyone, from curious sporting newcomers to aspiring professional athletes.

On Sunday 5 March, a free Try a Sport Day at Speers Point Park will unite the community and local sports organisations, with family-friendly, interactive activities and challenges, stalls, displays and activities.

Cr Fraser said almost 20 Lake Mac groups were taking part, including Tennis NSW and the Newcastle Jets.

“They’ll be showcasing a range of sports, including cricket, rugby league, baseball, sailing, martial arts, mountain-biking, tennis and volleyball,” she said.

“Then throughout the week of the festival, sporting groups across Lake Mac will be hosting  introductory sessions and competitions to help girls and women get a better idea of what’s on offer, and to build participation rates.”

ARIA Award-winning singer Clare Bowditch will headline a special festival edition of Live Music @ Lake Mac performance at Warners Bay Theatre on 8 March, supported by Hunter singer-songwriter Georgie Winchester.

On Friday 10 March, the Multi Arts Pavilion, mima, in Speers Point Park will host Friday Night Foodies with a twist, including a special festival session of 80’s Skaties and the Newcastle Roller Derby League.

Cr Fraser said Charlestown Square would host a Women in Sport exhibition on Saturday 11 March in its centre court, featuring a panel discussion with local female surfers, an activewear fashion parade modelled by Newcastle Jets players and vintage women’s sportswear displays from the Australian Museum of Fashion.

“It’s great to have so many activities and events as part of this year’s Women in Sport Festival,” she explained.

“Our city continues to produce a wealth of female sporting talent, and we want to ensure we encourage and nurture that.

“Sport builds confidence and fitness, it creates social bonds and it encourages teamwork, so anything we can do to build female participation has to be a good thing.”

The Lake Mac Women in Sport Festival is funded in partnership with the NSW Government through its Stronger Country Communities Fund.

International Women’s Day throughout the Hunter

Saturday 4 March

  • 9.30am: IWD March (Gregson Park, Hamilton)
  • All day: Women in Sport Festival (Speers Point Park, Lake Macquarie)

Sunday 5 March

  • 10am-2pm: Women in Sport Try a Sport Day (Speers Point Park, Lake Macquarie)
  • 11.25am: SHEsail Ladies 16ft Skiff race (Belmont 16s)
  • 11.30am: WWYW Paint & Sip (Green Roof, Hamilton)

Monday 6 March

  • 7.30am: Women in Sport Breakfast (TINTA Belmont, Lake Macquarie)

Tuesday 7 March

  • 7am: Women in Law Breakfast 2023 (Newcastle NEX)
  • From 9.30am: Hunter Women’s Centre IWD Events
  • Noon-1pm: Empowering Women and Girls in the Circular Community (online)

Wednesday 8 March

  • 7.15am: Zonta IWD Breakfast (Brown Sugar, Warners Bay)
  • 9.30am-11am: Women’s Inspire (LIVEfree Hub, Adamstown)
  • 9.30am-11.30am: Lord Mayor’s International Women’s Day Morning Tea (Newcastle City Hall)
  • From 9.30am: Hunter Women’s Centre IWD Events
  • 10am: Cessnock’s Hidden Herstories (Cessnock City Library)
  • 11.30am: Newcastle Women’s DVCAS High Tea (NWDVCAS)
  • Noon-3pm: Embrace Equity International Women’s Day (Kahibah Sports Club)
  • Noon-4pm: HunterNet 2023 IWD Luncheon (Merewether Surfhouse)
  • Noon-4pm: IWD Panel and UNSA Expo (Park on the Hill, University of Newcastle)
  • 5pm: Hunter Business Women’s Network IWD Event (Newcastle NEX)
  • 5.30pm: IWD Artist in Residence Launch (Brough House, Maitland)
  • 6.45pm: Clare Bowditch and Georgie Winchester (Warners Bay Theatre, Lake Macquarie)

Thursday 9 March

  • Noon-2pm: USNA IWD Expo (NuSpace, University of Newcastle)

Saturday 11 March

  • 1pm-3pm: Lake Mac Women in Sport Expo (Charlestown Square)
  • 2.30pm: Sleapy’s Foundation IWD High Tea (Souths Merewether)
  • 6pm: Launch – Mistress Exhibition (Blackstone Gallery)

Sunday 12 March

  • 9.30am: Women’s Inspire (LIVEfree Hub, Adamstown)

Saturday 25 March

  • 4pm: BASS-IC (Lass O’Gowrie Hotel, Wickham)

Friday 31 March

  • 12.30pm-3.30pm: Gen Collective 2023 International Women’s Day Luncheon (Merewether Surfhouse)

Sunday 30 April

  • 1pm-5pm: Bar Mellow IWD Event (Bar Mellow, Newcastle West)

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