U19 Div 1

AFLW Success Fueling Female Footy

By Andrew Jackson,

Friday February 3, 2017 was a pivotal moment in Australian sporting history when the first ever AFL women’s competition (AFLW) commenced. The inaugural season was a great success. The competition is just two years old yet it has already taken a significant step towards granting women across the nation equal opportunity in pursuing a footballing career.

Sydney University Women’s AFL Club (SUWAFLC) has been advocating the inclusion of women in sport since its establishment in 2000 and was one of the founding clubs of the Sydney Women’s Australian Football League.

President of the SUWAFLC Olivia Warren said that the values of inclusion and acceptance are deeply instilled within the club:

“Anyone at any ability is welcome at the club as long as they have a positive attitude and keep our values and the Bombers spirit at heart and play with that passion. We have always underpinned playing for your teammates and having each other’s backs, whether it is on the field or off it.”

Warren said that the establishment of the AFLW was crucial towards promoting the level of acceptance in sport that she also strives to uphold at the Bombers:

“Obviously the AFL has done an incredible job with the way they have been strategic in phasing the AFLW to increase popularity and interest. The beauty about sport is that it can really bond people together that probably might never have come together if they had not played sport. Diversity and inclusion are so important in sport and I think it is what makes playing AFL so great.”

Considering the success of the AFLW, Warren is excited by the possibility of a women’s NEAFL competition:

“One-hundred percent, that [a women’s competition] is what we are working towards.”

The Bombers may have begun their 2018 campaign, yet Warren stressed that all women are welcome to join in:

“Not only will you have the most fun but you will also make the best friends that you never would have otherwise known. We are a very welcoming environment, in fact we are still accepting new recruits even this week three rounds into the competition.”

Meg Haynes, captain of the Bombers’ Premier Division squad, highlighted the importance of the AFLW in providing role models for aspiring female competitors:

“The start of the AFLW was hugely important for a lot of young girls coming through as those role models demonstrated that we can strive through and be put on the same page as men.”

Haynes also said that playing for the Bombers has afforded her the opportunity to interact with several extraordinary women:

“I am one of the young girls at the club and there were numerous girls who have come before us and left such a fantastic legacy in the work they have done for the club.”

As skipper of the squad, Haynes said that a positive and supportive environment is something that she focuses on encouraging within the club:

“This year we have a host of new girls coming through it is kind of like a changing of the guard at the Bombers so we are trying to make it a really welcoming and open environment that is really encouraging and positive for all the new girls coming through.”

Haynes said that all women of any ability are valued at the club:

“AFL is so accessible to so many women because there is a tradition that everyone is welcome from someone with 20 years of experience to someone just rocking up and putting on boots for the first time. Everyone is always willing to have a new face around and to have a chat with them and make sure they are comfortable.”

SUANFC and SUWAFLC celebrate the annual ladies day this Saturday 28th April at Sydney Uni Oval No. 1. There will be great prizes, local food trucks and great entertainment, featuring two women’s and two men’s games, for more information click here: http://bit.ly/2r0yGVY


Ladies Day Fixture:

11:10am – Womens Division 1 vs Pennant Hills

12:50pm – Womens Premier Division vs Macquarie Uni

2:30pm – Mens Premier Division Reserves vs St George

4:30pm – Mens Premier Division vs St George

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