We are excited to welcome Travis Hill as a new guest writer for ContestedFooty and the following is his first article. We hope you enjoy it.
When I think back to when I was younger and all I wanted to do was play sport- the first person that I would ask was my dad and he would say yes but only if it was ok by mum?
Now women in the AFL or any other sport for that matter are making progress into the world that they were once only allowed the above lip service in.
Just look at how many mums you will find on a Saturday morning getting up at 7 or 8 am taking their kids to Aus Kick or to their local club to play a game of footy, you will find it is quite a large number. Not only do they take their kids to a footy clinic or to a match they now find themselves participating in coaching, umpiring or just on the community aspects of the club. It now has got to the point where females are starting to stamp their authority on the game itself.
The AFL has identified this trend and has taken the opportunity to make a round of football dedicated to the females because the AFL see this has a potential to get more female supporters and viewers- it seems to be having an impact, when you go to a game there is in my opinion actually a great ratio of the two sexes in the crowd.
The media has to be given credit for this paradigm shift and one female in particular sits very high in my books. Caroline Wilson polarizes opinion and has both her ardent fans and vocal detracts. I may not be one of the ones who like her but when it comes to writing articles and knowing her stuff she has a lot of people (including myself) covered. Along side her obvious writing ability Wilson also does radio for 3AW and can be found on the Monday night program Footy Classified on channel 9, where despite being dominated by males, she manages to hold her own. Importantly Caroline Wilson has helped pave the way for female fans and journalists to get involved in sports media.
Football clubs have also acknowledged the shifts in attitudes- for example the sex of a board member is now irrelevent. Over at the Lexus Centre we have Sally Capp who has served on their Board since January 2004- a remarkable effort. She is the first female board director in the history of the Collingwood Football Club. As for her role on the board- I am not to sure of the detials because she keeps quiet on what’s going on behind closed doors. One thing however is certain- she is involved in making big decisions.
By no means have women managed to obtain equal rights in this sport but they are on the way. Pleasingly the above are some examples of progress and hopefully we see more into the future.
By Travis Hill (Follow his Twitter Account here.)
Edited by the ContestedFooty team