Female Festival of Football – Battle of the South
There was a time when the term “plays like a girl” was meant as a put down but the new generation of young women wear it as a badge of honour.
Football is now the top team sport played by girls and women in Australia.
This is one of the points of difference for football, as it provides an opportunity for all Australians to participate regardless of gender.
At the grassroots level, over 100,000 girls and women play football in Australia.
The ratio of 1 in every 5 players being female puts women’s participation at record levels, but there are huge opportunities for growth ahead.
Closer to home, about one quarter of Football South Coast’s (FSC) registered players are female with close to 3000 female players playing football in the region.
This will only grow with recent success of the Matildas at the Women’s World Cup and the growth of the W-League.
To celebrate the continual success and boom of the women’s game Female Football Week will once again take shape for 2017 on Wednesday 8th of March running on till Sunday the 19th of March, and is a fantastic initiative that celebrates and promotes opportunities available to girls and women to participate in football.
As part of Female Football Week, - a battle of the South will take place with the FSC All Stars hosting a fixture against the Sutherland Shire Football Association (SSFA) All Stars to take place on the 12th March 2017.
As a curtain raiser the U10 FSC and SSFA Girls Skills Acquisition Programs (SAP) will also take to the field as part of their pre-season preparations.
Ann-Marie Balliana, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Football South Coast said, “There has always been a great friendly rivalry between FSC and SSFA and the All Stars games is a great concept for us to celebrate the growth of female football in both our associations.
“Female Football week is also a great opportunity to celebrate the immense growth of the women's game and recognise existing players, coaches, referees and administrators who have contributed so much to our code”.
Jeff Stewart, the General Manager of Sutherland Shire Football Association welcomed the All Stars concept and the great ongoing relationship between both associations, especially in the support of female football.
“The SSFA is extremely excited to combine with our close neighbours (FSC) to continue to grow and promote women’s football.
“With almost 6,000 female players the SSFA has the largest female football playing population in this country.
“Showcasing the best local female talent, via an All Stars match, across the two associations is a ground breaking initiative.
“Hopefully the concept will be well received and can continue to expand with the ‘best of the best females’ playing each other on an annual basis – and possibly expanding to include a few more of our neighbouring associations.”
In what will be a festival of Female Football in the region, FSC will also be hosting the inaugural pre-season tournament for U12 / U13 Girls Only teams on the 12th March as a prelude to the All Stars Match.
This will be in addition to a number of programs and promotions to support women in Football including Female Only Grassroots Coaching Courses and a ‘Free Come and Try Clinic’ for girls aged 4 to 6.