Female footy fans a secret weapon 17



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Female footy fans are being dubbed the AFL’s secret weapon.

When you’re sitting in the stadium watching an AFL game, it’s easy to see why – just take a look around at how many women are in the grandstand and the passion they bring to the game.

I remember two dear ladies of a certain age sitting in the stands at the Gabba for a Carlton v Brisbane game some years back. Not wanting to stereotype, but this pair of Blues fans had hair the same colour as their team’s footy jumpers. Content to sit and do their knitting pre-match, once the whistle blew it was a completely different story. They were up out of their seats barracking as only a one-eyed Carlton supporter can. These ladies knew every player, every statistic, every injury ever suffered, everything there ever was to know about AFL. I think I watched them more than the football game.

Aussie women love their footy. While many football games overseas are played in front of a predominantly male crowd, in Australia, women make up around 40% of a typical football match crowd – it’s higher for AFL, and slightly lower for the NRL.

Round 10 of the National Rugby League season this weekend is also all about the women, with the annual Women in League Round underway.

The themed round acknowledges the key role women play in the game and highlights the number of women enjoying the game is on the rise.

Over the last 18 months in NRL there has been a 31 per cent growth in female club registrations and a 26 per cent increase in school participation. Total female participation is now more than 171,000.

NRL Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Young told this week’s launch the Women in League Round, now in its ninth year, provides the opportunity for the women in our game to feel proud of their roles and contribution to Rugby League.

“Whether it is as administrators, players, coaches, employees, volunteers or club members, women really are at the heart of the game. There are now more than 90 female competitions in Australia. There are also more than 400,000 women playing a format of the game, Touch, Tag or Tackle. Female club membership is in excess of 71,000 and there are 1100 female registered referees, coaches and sports trainers, as well as thousands of volunteers.”

Are you a woman who loves going to the football, be it AFL or NRL? What do you love about the footy and what keeps you coming back every weekend?


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  1. What brings me back!! mmmm can’t eally explain it but I bleed Black and White. It’s been in my blood for many years, the mateship and the SIDE BY SIDE. My next bucket list is to live in Melbourne for a season. CARN THE MIGHTY PIES. <3

  2. I love my crows, try to get to one interstate match a year and if I am not travelling go to all the home matches.

  3. I love my Tigers even though they are letting us down year after year. As I explained to a friend I am a member of the Richmond FC not the current team.

  4. Cos’ it is the best game of all. I love my Geelong Cats have done since I was 9. I am now 61. 2007, 2009 and 2011 3 of the best years.

  5. I am a Tiger fan my Dad played for them so really had no choice. Have been through seasons when they rarely won a game and lucky to be at their Premiership wins.

  6. Go west coast eagles my one and only team which I secretly coach train praise and push them to do their best with team work.

  7. I just got my 20 year Membership Certificate and pin from the Dockers. I started following them the first year they played and my family bought me a membership for Christmas the second year and I’ve been there for them ever since. The atmosphere at a home game is just fantastic.

  8. I grew up in Collingwood in the mid 1950’s. Its in my blood. I still go to all the home games and have a reserved seat. 😀 You can take the girl out of Collingwood, but you can’t take Collingwood out of the girl!! 😉

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