Almanac Women’s Footy: A journey continues

 

 

As the inaugural season of AFL Women’s Footy approaches, I am struck by the level of excitement I feel.  I feel emotional, I feel nervous.  I feel I can’t wait for the actual games to begin.  I have spent four years seeing the Western Bulldogs v Melbourne matches, being present at several, and seeing my local team St Kilda Sharks play a number of times.

 

And it’s not just me.  The AFL is expecting a full house for the first game. People will flock to this historic event.  I will be one of the flockers and I know many more. People will turn up because of what it means to so many.

 

I talked about my emotional state yesterday to a friend.  She is 59, and said, she understood.  She explained it was a lifetime of being seen as a girl who is less important. Her wish to study medicine was ignored by her parents, who loved her but didn’t think a girl would amount to much.  She was left at 17 alone in Perth to pursue her aspiration if she could. She didn’t push through it. On reflection, the advent of women’s footy turning professional has revealed to her a group who are strong and magnificent who did push through their challenges. My friend studied nursing and later became involved in research, and seeing the women footballers being taken seriously has really hit home to her. She, like me, was struck by just how unexpected and strong her response has been. These footballers represent something deep within us – the strength. The possibilities.  Hanging in there. And not being invisible and powerless.

 

The women players are playing out their own dreams, but they are helping us all with ours.  Every woman and girl who watches these games lives part of our dreams vicariously. And hopefully, it will help girls of the future also take stands on everything in their lives.  To take themselves seriously enough to push through the challenges and the limitations.

 

The very first game, taken seriously, playing for the AFL, playing in front of crowds and TV and commentators, means so much to all girls and women, and hopefully, to the men around too.  Footy for boys is so taken for granted.  It has been there, being highlighted for all our lives.

 

Women’s footy has been around for 100 years too, but always in the shadows. It ain’t in the shadows now.

 

Bring it on.

 

The Footy Almanac encourages contributors to write match reports and other stories  about women’s footy. Read Yvette’s call to writers.

 

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About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. jan courtin says:

    Nice one, Yvette!
    I have often wondered what position I would have played had I been a man – and I’m sure I would have played at the highest level! Well, almost sure!

    If I were an 18-year old today, I’m sure I would in amongst the thick of it too, and rejoicing in the changing attitudes towards half the population. Still a long way to go, but all power to the young women of today.

    Take care
    Jan
    ps I would have been, then and now, a rover.

  2. Powerfully expressed Yvette. Well said.
    I am struggling with the decision to have AFL club franchises/associations. I understand the commercial reasons, but it disenfranchises half the supporters – particularly in Perth, Adelaide etc. Will watch a few games and decide which team captures my interest.

  3. Thanks Yvette,
    Good read. I went to the Dees and Blues practice match yesterday and was impressed by the skills, even though my beloved Dees got a thrashing. The Blues rick was dominant and that pretty much told the story; of for a female Maxie!

    As a Foundation Dees Women’s member I’ll certainly be going along to watch the games in Melbourne

  4. Yvette Wroby says:

    Thanks all. Jan you would have been a tough rover of immense will and drive. Your own book attests to that. Peter and Jan, I think this is one time we can be a bit colour blind and fall in love with the other. There is a magnificent group of Freo and GWS women there to be admired. The costumes just help some with the engagement but u both love footy stories and heart. Those two teams, all the teams, have it in spades.

    Graveyard, I am a Bulldogs Foundation member and and will likely keep that up even when the Saints get a team. There’s always room on our hearts to fall in love again and again .

    Thanks so much for your thoughts.

  5. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Great stuff Yvette. Very much looking forward to the series and watching the women forge their own culture and identity on the game.

  6. Hi Yvette,

    It’s sad to hear your friend was unable to achieve her dream because of the expectation she had got. It’s like how I hadn’t followed my childhood dream before. I understand what she felt.

    So young female footballers have got such great opportunitues to play footy in such great levels and are admired. Their hardworking now blossom and I think girls are so fulfilled. I hope the girls represent women and their dreams and play well.

    Your writing is so great as always and inspiring. I enjoyed reading your story.

    Thanks and have a good week :-)

    Yoshi

  7. Yvette Wroby says:

    Thanks Yoshi and Phil. The ad for the AFLW came out today. Like they said… I’d like to see that! Thanks for your thoughts

  8. Bring it on, indeed.
    Many years ago, I went out with a girl who could roost a torpedo further than me. My mates and I were always amazed when we had a kick-to-kick. She would have been a gun footballer if given the chance back then.

  9. Dave Brown says:

    Yep, also excited Yvette. Looking forward to taking my kids to the first Crows home game at Thebby on 4 Feb. My (5 yo) daughter has made the decision to play footy this year and I marvel at the world where, with Norwood and the Crows having women’s teams this year, she will grow up finding that perfectly normal. Can’t wait!

  10. bring back the torp says:

    Can’t wait! It has taken about 102 years to get to the AFLW. Women have been football supporters at games since 1858 in disproportionate numbers cf. women attending other codes -but were mocked & discouraged when they played our Australian game.

    In 11 days, we will see the start of an era where women’s football is being truly promoted, and supported -the AFLW.

    To paraphrase Paul Keating this is a victory for the adventurous girls/ independent women/fearless women/non conformist women /equal rights women / “tomboys”… and the true believers who were the pioneers of women’s AF.

    In 1876, a schoolgirl from PLC Kew, Melb. wrote to her school, probably with a quill dipped in ink. She probably had very long hair in a bow, and a neck to knee crinoline dress. She wrote that since boys had so much fun playing football, the school should allow girls to have fun, & allow them to play football also!
    I wonder what she might be thinking if witnessing the AFLW!

  11. Lovely piece Yvette!!!
    I can’t wait to read your reviews of the upcoming women’s season

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