AFLW Round 1 – Carlton v Collingwood: Like winning a Grand Final

When I was  girl, I loved footy with a passion. I played with my brothers and the boys in the street, and dreamed at ten of being the first girl to play in the VFL for South Melbourne!


My dreams were shattered at about ten. 55 years ago, I was not allowed to even play in a suburban boys team. There was trouble at high school with my peers and teachers for trying to take part in kick-to-kick, with the final blow dealt by one of the big boys, taking me out with a deliberate front-on bump that took all of the air out of my lungs. I transferred my playing passions to cricket and hockey, but I never lost of my love of the game and joined kick-to-kick at every opportunity.


On Friday 3rd February I went with friends and family to the first AFL women’s game at Princes Park. It was so exciting – the crowd supporting every player, every great play and hard tackle. So loud! The players were awesome with their passion and skills.


I couldn’t sleep, I was far too excited by it all (I am 65 – it’s common to have a good sleep!). It’s now Monday and I feel like I did when my teams won a grand final. I want to sing and shout and maintain a big grin on my face.


Thank you to all players for creating such a great spectacle. Thank you for being part of the incredible, long-overdue growth of mainstream interest in women’s sport.


About Robyn James

I have loved sport all of my 65 years - playing, coaching, encouraging others, watching. Any sport with a ball was tried in my younger years and watched now. Especially footy, hockey, soccer, cricket.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Robyn,
    thanks for your post. We’ll get the picture straightened up at some stage! I am in my 60’s too and never sporty, but always always a supporter. Learned to kick a ball at 59 years of age, so never too late. Heard a 41 year old on SEN1116 saying she’s joined her local footy team after an hour instruction from her hubby so for some, it’s never too late. There will be seniors footy too if there’s enough interest.

    Watching women play has been inspirational and I share your passion and pleasure. It has been a wonderful continuation (as we know, some women have continued to try and play and there has been VFL Women’s for years.) It can only grow.

    Thanks for joining in the joy

  2. Julie Perrin says

    Thank you Robyn, so powerful to realise how far back these stories go and how deeply they are laid down. AFLW feels like this is a re-defiining moment in women’s lives.

  3. Elizabeth Morgan says

    Lovely reflection Robyn – it is a momentous event and to be honest I never thought we’d see it in lifetime.

  4. Shoni Le Nepveu says

    Well said Robyn, I loved playing womens footy at Uni and was glad to have that opportunity. And sorry I missed out on the game!!

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