Last weekend was a ‘ripper’ of a weekend for the Wilson’s. Poppy was chosen to take part in this year’s Rite of Passage event at the MCG. The event was created to mark the end of the very first season of elite AFLWomen’s games, so Poppy took part in a girls’ footy clinic. What a magnificent way to encourage female participation in football, and sport in general!
Since beginning our life down under, our children have been thrown into a much sportier existence than they ever had before. Australian life lends itself to being active and outdoors, and Melbourne is literally bursting with really impressive sporting facilities. Both kids have embraced this and given almost everything a shot. Ok, so the Nippers didn’t really go to plan, but at least they tried!!!
As soon as we took them to the MCG and they stood there dreamy eyed and wide mouthed like goldfish, they were hooked. Whether it’s cricket, footie, or just an hour at the museum, we all adore the venue. It’s such an exciting place to be with an atmosphere like no other, and the perfect place to go with little sports fans.. (It’s not a sale’s pitch, it’s just a fact!)
When we heard Poppy, our little English Rose, was being given the chance to step onto the “hallowed turf” at the MCG to take part in an Aussie Footie Clinic we were so excited. You can’t get much more “Expat Adventure” than that!! Tim was incredibly jealous; as was Monty, who insisted on popping his newly acquired footie boots into my handbag just in case. As if I didn’t have enough to carry!
Off we went straight from the netball court, a quick change of clothes in the car and we headed for what would turn out to be another marvellous day in ‘Straya!
We arrived at the MCG, and were greeted by the wonderful staff who had everything running smoothly, we had some photos with the Carlton players, were photo bombed by the enormous Sydney Swan, and then we were taken into the ground. It feels so special to be led into the MCG when it’s empty and quiet; it truly is a privilege.
The clinic was being led by Kelly Sports, who took all the kids onto the pitch, rounded them up into the correct teams, and sent them off to kick a footie with their coaches. It was so well organised and there wasn’t a moment of chaos; amazing considering there were 100 girls in total. 50 girls aged 5-8 and another 50 girls aged 9-12 were chosen by ballot to take part. I could see that the coaches were first class, they had the girls full attention, and were really leading them and teaching them some wicked skills. A few of the AFLW players from Carlton were also there to encourage the girls and show them how it’s done. I’m still flabbergasted at what an opportunity this was for these 100 young women!!!
Poppy has never played ‘footie’ in her life, but the way she was motivated and inspired on Saturday has put fire in her belly and she has just signed up to join our local team. We now have two ‘Aussie Rules’ footie players in the family! And I no longer have an English Rose, she’s more of an Aussie Golden Wattle…
We were so thrilled to be there on Saturday, promoting AFLW and celebrating the fact that after 100 years of waiting, women now have the opportunity to get out there and show off their athletic prowess on the footie field in the elite games. I am certainly proud to have a daughter that is embracing all things footie. How wonderful to be growing up 2017 with such super female role models in sport, who make young girls want to succeed on what has previously been a closed pitch for them.
Well done to the team at the MCG for creating such a special event, supporting women in sport, and showing our young girls just what can be achieved if you really put your mind to it.
If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward – Martin Luther King Jnr
‘The 2017 AFL Women’s season was the first season of the elite women’s Australian rules football competition. Eight teams competed in the league, all of which are associated with existing Australian Football League (AFL) clubs. The first game was played on Friday, 3 February, and the season concluded with the grand final on Saturday, 25 March.’
How is it different from the men’s game?
While the men’s season goes for about 6 months, the AFLW will start with a short season of 8 weeks.
The games are shorter. Quarters go for 15 minutes each, plus extra time.
The ball is smaller, lighter, and faster.
Unlike the Mens game where there are 18 players, there will only be 16 players on the AFLW field.
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