What Club are you from?

Warragul United Soccer Club

What is your role?

Committee member and women & girls ambassador.  Under 12 girls team manager.

How did you get into your role?

Our club wants to be a leader in providing opportunities, personal development, pathways and great experiences for women and girls in soccer and my appointment as women & girls abassador was unanimously endorsed by the committee.  I’m the father of a young daughter who loves her soccer and feel incredibly lucky to be at a club that loves her as much as she loves the club.  The club is happy to break down any barriers and support initiatives to achieve gender equality and create opportunities for women & girls.  We’ve got a way to go but fully committed to being a change maker.

What challenges have you faced in regards to gender equality and how have you overcome these?

It starts with education and mindset.  Football victoria’s manager of women & girls told me of a saying that; “boys have got to win to have fun and girls have to have fun to win.”  Of course, there are fierce competitors in the mix, but i’ve found a lot of truth in this.  Sporting clubs provide a terrific environment to meet great people, forge friendships, and learn life skills.  Our primary challenge is to listen to the women & girls in our club and community, including parents, create a mindset of positivity and opportunity, and put proactive plans in place.  Amongst many initiatives, our number one priority remains working with council to have female-friendly changerooms constructed at our home ground baxter park.

Why is having an equal playing field important in sporting clubs?

Because it’s the right thing to do and a great opportunity to enrich our club, on and off the field.  We’re excited for the future of our club and the growth of female football.

What advice would you give to other clubs wanting to improve gender equality at their club?

Ask for help from GippSport and Football Victoria.  There’s plenty of education, strategy and support to help you meet your goals.  Collaborate and pool resources to accelerate learning and outcomes.