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Case study: ‘Going for it, getting stuck in’ to women’s footy

As a child, Jen had no idea that footy was just for men. After some time away from sport, Jen joined the Victorian Women's Football League.

It's great to see women going for it, getting stuck in, running hard, tackling, and not holding back from that stuff...​​​​​​

From a young age, Jen was passionate about football. It never occurred to her that footy was only for men, that the local clubs were boys' only.

As Jen got older, there were fewer opportunities to play footy. She gradually stopped playing any contact sport. She lost the confidence to put her body on the line.

She later realised she had been influenced by attitudes from society. It was not appropriate for girls to be physical or to play rough. She had consciously 'reigned in' her sporting urges.

Changing attitudes

Since leaving university, Jen's football flair has had a revival. She's been an active member of the Victorian Women's Football League. The establishment of the women's league has been game-changing, not only for Jen, but for women and girls across Australia.

'Being a young girl today is different to how things were 20 years ago. You can see lots of women doing this stuff.' 

Attitudes in society are changing. Girls seeing other girls playing footy and other sports encourages them to get involved.

Jen knows there's still a long way to go in making the game as accessible and welcoming for women as it is for men. 

Support through facilities and attendance

With funding from the State Government's Female Friendly Facilities Fund, her local facilities have been upgraded. 

Her club is committed to driving cultural change and supporting its female players to thrive. It hosts initiatives to raise the profile of the women's league. It actively encourages the men's and women's teams to show support and solidarity by attending one another’s games.

Reviewed 25 June 2018