Don’t argue with Violet!

By Violet Dunn


Kip. The Caulfield Bears mascot has his own footy card.

I love footy!!! I love that girls can play! I love that we get rough & dirty! I love being part of a team, and I love that my dog Kip is the mascot for the Caulfield bears.


How I got into AFL football:


When I was about four years old I always used to go watch my dad play footy. I remember helping out in the canteen and sitting at the top of the stands.


I went up into the scoreboard with my uncle and enjoyed the view of the game. I even got to pass my uncle the numbers and put them on the hooks of the scoreboard.


I started playing footy when I was in grade two. My two brothers did Auskick, and my dad helped out.


My dad said to me “Come and watch the boys play” then said, “Why don’t you give it a try and join in.”


So I did.


I came home after that first day & then counted down the days ’till the next Saturday Auskick. My Dad signed me up the next week. There were no other girls at that stage but I didn’t care. I have loved footy ever since.


Both my parents are very supportive and encouraging. They were really happy for me to play in the under 12s football team. They thought this was a really great opportunity for me to finally use the skills I had been learning for a few years.


Footy makes me feel good:


Simple things make me feel empowered about footy, like footy shows, interviews or even a footy poster on the side of the street. One night we were watching “Sunday night” the TV show and the message that came across to me is that no matter what your background or what you look like, everyone loves footy and that this great sport brings people together – also that’s it is ok to be different.


Even if you don’t have much in common with someone you can have footy in common. I think that’s a really great thing about the game. It even brings my family together, I remember my first couple of football games my family on both sides came to watch me. They were so excited to see me finally play.


How times have changed:


Times have changed greatly. 10 years ago you would have never thought that there would be an AFLW competition. Girls have stood up for their rights and things have changed. Years ago girls wouldn’t have ever thought there would be a chance to play footy. Even just a couple of years ago when I wanted to play footy at school none of my girlfriends wanted to, so I had to find boys that wanted to play football with me. Now everyone wants to play footy together.


I feel so lucky that I am able to play competition football at a young age and thank the girls who have changed the rules for me. When I look up to all the footy players now I think I hope this will be me one day. Hopefully my dream will come true of playing AFLW.


Nick name and helmet:


I got the nickname ‘HOOFA’ because I do big kicks. When I was at Auskick one of the dads came up to my mum and said “Gee, your daughter has a big hoof on her” but my mum didn’t really understand.



She told my dad and he had to translate it to her. From then on my mum was joking around saying you should be called ‘HOOFA’ with such a big hoof and I’ve been stuck with it ever since.


I got a fluro yellow helmet so that everyone can see where I am because we all look the same on the field and you can’t always see their number on your back.


Follow the fluro yellow helmet and that’s where I am. Mum & Dad love it as they can never lose me.



First match:


My first match was my favourite game of all.


Our girls team was the first Caulfield Bears team to ever play. That’s pretty awesome. The day began with a speech from the President of the Caulfield bears, Louise Nelson. She told us we were doing it for all the girls before us who couldn’t play and just had to cheer from the sidelines. David Southwick also sponsored our team. There was a guard of honour from the boys team and a banner that read, “Making Her-story” (instead of history) that I lead the team through as captain.

Violet and The Caulfield Bears.


I am very grateful that we have such a great community that is so supportive. The crowd was roaring, the siren blew and it felt amazing to finally be playing. I was so thrilled when I kicked our first goal of the season, but then to my amazement I kicked another 4. It felt great to be apart of a team. We won our first match with a score of 69-9. The change rooms were pumping with happiness. It was music to my ears to hear our team song being sung by my teammates and all our supporters. Two weeks after the game I was still smiling and couldn’t believe our win. It was the best feeling and I couldn’t stop talking about it for days. I was hooked. My dreams had come true.




Even though we didn’t win every game and I didn’t get a goal every match, I still enjoyed everything & made lots of new friends. I gained confidence and feel empowered as a girl on the footy field.


Footy has shown me that I can do anything in life that I want to and that we can change things for the better. I am excited about my next season and hope to kick 27 goals. We had the best year and to top it off my team the Richmond Tigers won the grand final too. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.


I can’t wait to get back on the footy field and do a “don’t argue” with Violet. That’s why I love footy!





  1. Great work Violet! I hope one day we’ll be watching Hoofa launch some big kicks up the guts in the AFLW! Until then, keep having fun at the Bears!

  2. Mark Duffett says

    What a classical-looking kick. A tremendous expression of footy’s magic, well done Violet.

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Magnificent Violet. I will come down this year to watch you running around. Great write up too. Your piece is dripping with love, of footy, your team mates and your family. Welcome to the Almanac family too.

  4. Clive Dunn says

    Well done Violet.We are all so proud of you. Keep it up.Grandpa Clive xxxx

  5. I’m wondering why you’ve chosen 27 goals as your aim for next year, Violet. Why not 37 or 50 maybe?!

    Good luck and keep enjoying our great game!

  6. Great work Violet it reads beautifully. I remember that first game.. it was very exciting to see so many people coming along to celebrate the Bears first ever girls team. Lots of cheers when Sophie kicked the first point and you the first goal.

    Goodluck for this season

  7. Jamieson Cosgriff says

    Great job Vivi!!!! Love you – Jam xox

  8. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Violet LOVE your passion for the game ! All the best

  9. Mia Cosgriff says

    WOOO go Violet!! Little legend xooxo

  10. Nuggets Dad says

    What a winderful piece Vi. I look forward to watching Hoofa and Nugget play many more games together. It has been such a wonderful experience for all you girls. I agree with previous comments. Why stop at 27 goals this year?? Aim high, go hard and have fun.

  11. bring back the torp says

    A moving article Violet, very well written.

    It underlines the stupidity & lack of awareness that, until about 2011, AF organisations around Australia did very little to support female football. It’s sad that, for 100 years, females missed out on the fun of playing football.

    Many males say the love the smell of a new, or virtually new, LEATHER football. All the other sports now use synthetics. Violet, is that something that girls have mentioned?

  12. Norma Coull says

    What a great article Violet! There are many things to learn from team sport. You girls are “trailblazers” for female football. It shows on your face that you love playing the game as you are always smiling during the game. Good luck for the forthcoming season but the main thing is enjoy yourself. I am very proud of you.

    Grandma Norma

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