Women’s Football – The Footy Almanac supports Play On Empower Celebration in Ballarat

Mo Hope talks to the Play On Empower group.


The social impact of the women’s football movement continues to percolate well beyond the eight weeks of the AFLW season.


AFLW marquee player Moana Hope yesterday participated in the celebration of the Play On Empower program at Mars Stadium in Ballarat. Play On Empower has been a ten week program conducted at the Woodmans Hill Campus of Ballarat Secondary College. Using footy as the platform, 25 girls from years seven to eleven have participated in weekly workshops that have focused on developing footy skills, confidence, self-worth, teamwork, and creating a sense of belonging.


One of the participating students was responsible for the funding application that enabled Mo Hope’s attendance yesterday. This is just one positive sign of the impact the program has had on the participants. To judge from the lively and thoughtful Q & A session between Mo and the girls, the intention to engage through football has been a roaring success.


Following the Q & A, Mo then participated in a skills session on the Mars Stadium arena. The session was led by Krista Woodroffe, coordinator for AFL Goldfields. Krista is herself a current Geelong VFLW player. Krista is currently dealing with over 40 women’s teams throughout the Goldfields region, a number that has significantly grown in the past 18 months.


Bridget Franc, from the Department of Education and Training, was responsible for the Footy Almanac’s involvement in this program. As Bridget says,” if we can help young people to see that their ideas matter, and their voice matters – they will begin to believe it. They will begin to understand that they can be powerful in this world, and despite adversity, they have the power to change the way the story ends.” These are sentiments the Almanac proudly supports. Each participating girl received a copy of the inaugural Women’s Footy Almanac.


Other sponsors of the program were AFL Goldfields and Western Bulldogs, Mars Stadium, North Ballarat Sports Club, John Maher, Zumba Ballarat, Sport & Life Training (S.A.L.T.), WISE Self Defence, and the City of Ballarat.


It is hoped that the learnings from this initial program can be carried forward into a future template for programs to come.


In full flight.

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The second Women’s Footy Almanac will be released in August. Details here:


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About John Butler

John Butler has fled the World's Most Liveable Car Park and now breathes the rarefied air of the Ballarat Plateau. For his sins, he has passed his 40th year as a Carlton member.


  1. John Butler says

    This was a terrific morning. The girls seemed to really respond to Moana, and to judge from their enthusiasm, they have also responded to the program. Well done to everyone involved.

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Brilliant. Thanks for letting us know and distributing books.

  3. Play On Empower Participant says

    ‘It was so amazing how you made this program work, thankyou for inspiring me and many other girls to love ourselves and nurture us for who we are. It was a blessing to be a part of the program’ – Year 7 student

  4. Tarneisha Ryan says

    It was such a great experience to meet Mo Hope and become closer to girls at my school that i never thought i would’ve. Play on empower helped me find who i was and it made me feel better knowing i was with a few girls going through as much of a hard time as me. A huge thank you to Mo for inspiring me and so many more young women to love who we are – Tarneisha Ryan {year 9 student}

  5. Absolutely – so inspirational!! &… a fantastic leader you were for our group yesterday, Tarneisha – you spoke beautifully on behalf of all the Play On Empower Girls. Such a strength to the program you have been – thank you!! & Well done!!!

  6. A wonderful effort from all the girls involved. The difference in confidence from week one to week ten was just unbelievable. All the girls should be very proud of themselves!
    Well done to all the organisers and facilitators on this very successful program.

  7. Saskia - Youth Counsellor says

    Thank you for writing this piece and being involved in the Play on Empower program. It has been absolutely wonderful working with these brilliant young women throughout this program and so inspirational to see them grow and flourish! These girls have immersed themselves in everything this program has offered them and it has been a pleasure to help them along the way. Strong really is the new pretty and these girls are proving it!

  8. Tremendous to read about this – and the comments which demonstrate the vibe around it all.

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