The Story of
In 2021, Warragul United Soccer Club secured funding through a Change Our Game Community Activation Grant and a Baw Baw Shire Council Community Grant to continue their work increasing opportunities for women and girls.
The club engaged GippSport Community Solutions to coordinate an event, which over time – and in no small part due to the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions – evolved from an education-focused initiative to a broader showcase and celebration of women and girls’ participation.
The West Gippsland Female Football Festival was co-hosted by WUSC and fellow local clubs Drouin Dragons Soccer Club, Trafalgar Victory Football Club, Gippsland Football Club and Latrobe United Women’s Football Club. After being rescheduled three times, the eventual date was able to be aligned with Football Victoria’s Female Football February initiative, which served as a valuable partnership and marketing opportunity for all parties.
The event took place at the recently redeveloped facility at Warragul’s Baxter Park, providing attendees with an opportunity to participate in football activities on a state-of-the-art synthetic playing surface. Activities were coordinated by leading Gippsland football coaches Anouk Meereboer and Beth Milkins, with approximately 40 participants of various ages and abilities taking part.
Change Our Game Ambassador Monique Hanley, former Matildas player Jane Oakley and Football Victoria’s Women and Girls Manager Andrea Swain were among the special guests on the day, sharing their experiences in sport and gender equality. An exhibition match between National Premier League Women’s sides Southern United and Bayside United immediately followed the festivities to further showcase women’s soccer.