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Football Australia recognise Female Football Week achievements

Football Australia are celebrating the achievements and contributions of women and girls in football as part of Female Football Week 2021.

Football Australia are celebrating the achievements and contributions of women and girls in football as part of Female Football Week 2021.

From March 1 to March 8, Football Australia are publishing a variety of digital content highlighting the important role of females in all levels of the sport. In addition, a range of educational factsheets and panels will be shared to assist the growth and development of female coaches, referees, administrators, volunteers and clubs.

Football Australia’s Female Football Week 2021 concludes on International Women’s Day on Monday March 8, following the release of Football Australia’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Legacy ‘23 plan at Parliament House in Canberra last week. It aims to deliver immediate and long-term community benefits and economic impact from Australia’s co-hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 – the biggest sporting event on Australian soil since the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

“Female Football Week 2021 is as important as ever given the stated and sharp focus that Football Australia has on women’s football and the development of women and girls in football,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson said.

“Many of our initiatives throughout the coming week are aligned with key measures in our XI Principles for the future of Australian football and support our efforts to demonstrate to stakeholders the importance of creating a more supportive and inclusive environment for women and girls in football in Australia.

“Football Australia is targeting continued growth and 50:50 gender balance in participation by 2027. We believe Female Football Week provides the game with the platform to accelerate growth and achieve that target by recognising the important role women, together with men, play in delivering women’s football, and by showcasing that football is an inclusive and welcoming sport for women and girls from all communities, ages and abilities.”

Female Football Week 2021 content will be accessible on Football Australia’s digital and social channels.

“Over the next week the Female Football Week campaign aims to provide the community with the platform to celebrate the achievements of players, coaches, administrators and officials,” Sarah Walsh said, Football Australia’s Head of Women’s Football, Women’s World Cup Legacy & Inclusion.

“Excitingly, Female Football Week 2021 will conclude with three online panels to celebrate International Women’s Day and Female Football Week 2021.”

The panels are hosted by Stephanie Brantz, focusing on leadership and development in the modern era. They feature international and domestic executives, coaches and match officials.

The executive panel will feature Sarai Bareman, Chief of Women’s Football at FIFA, Karina LeBlanc, Head of Women’s Football at CONCACAF, Amanda Vandervort, Chief Women’s Football Officer at FIFPRO, and James Johnson and Sarah Walsh from Football Australia.

The coaching panel will feature Emma Hayes, Head Coach of Chelsea FC Women, Tony Gustavsson, Head Coach of the Westfield Matildas, and Mel Andreatta, Assistant Coach of the Westfield Matildas.

And the match officials panel currently features Kari Seitz, FIFA Head of Refereeing – Women, Kate Jacewicz, FIFA & Football Australia Referee, and Esfandiar Baharmast, former FIFA Referee and FIFA Referee Instructor.

“As an organisation that aspires to think local but act global, we’re thrilled that we can produce content with, and access insights from, change agents at the highest levels of football to share with Australia’s passionate football community. This is an important part of our mission for Australia to become the centre of women’s football in the Asia-Pacific region,” Walsh said.

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Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

Diversity and Inclusion Grant announced by ESFA for Association Clubs

Eastern Suburbs Football Association (ESFA) announced the finalisation of a Diversity and Inclusion Grant for its local Association Clubs.

New South Wales’ Eastern Suburbs Football Association (ESFA) announced the finalisation of a Diversity and Inclusion Grant for its local Association Clubs.

Acclaimed to be the ESFA’s Diversity and Inclusion Grant is a first for a local grassroots association in NSW, the grant will fund sport and physical activity events for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups within the ESFA Community.

Specifically, the grant is seeking to support projects that are aimed at the following:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Newly arrived migrants and refugees, or culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups’
  • Women’s football
  • People with a physical and/or intellectual disability
  • LGBTIQA+ communities

The grant reaffirms the ESFA’s dedication to developing football for the entire community – irrespective of age, colour, gender and disability.

Furthermore, the announcement represents a significant aspect of the ESFA’s key strategic pillars for 2021-24. These pillars outline a focus on delivering football which is not just of a high-quality standard, but football that is accessible to the entire Eastern Suburbs community in order to ensure that more members of the area are encouraged to be a part of the game.

ESFA Director Lisa Thorn explained the reasoning behind the grant by reiterating what the association stands for.

“This is an important mechanism to promote the growth of football for all,” she said.

“At ESFA we believe it is important that sporting bodies reflect the diversity in the communities they are a part of, and that they ensure that everybody has access to the beautiful game.

“This program supports people who are historically less likely to participate within ESFA competitions and will help build a resilient, cohesive and harmonious ESFA community.”

President of the ESFA, Nigel Singh, acknowledged the instrumental role football plays in fostering community and connectedness, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic.

“The events of last season highlighted how important football is beyond just the obvious physical benefits,” he said.

“Football establishes a sense of community, and it provides an avenue to form deeper connections with people we might not ordinarily interact with.

“We believe this program will allow our Clubs to continue the fantastic job they are doing in growing the game and in highlighting that participating within ESFA is about more than just football.”

Yarraville Glory Football Club boosted by $1.18 million funding grant

Yarraville Glory Football Club have been the beneficiaries of $1.18 million in funding through the West Gate Neighbourhood Fund community grants program.

The program has been delivered by the state government’s West Gate Tunnel Project with Yarraville receiving a lion share of the $6.4 million in funding, which has been divided across 19 different projects.

The club, who is based at McIvor Reserve, will use the funding to develop additional clubrooms, a new training and development room, a flexible floor plan, as well as flood lights and an equipment shed, which will be installed to improve playing and training conditions for participants.

Yarraville Glory Football Club secretary, Vince Cosentino, told Soccerscene that the submission proposal took him 10 hours to write after extensive consultation with local community groups, schools and MPs, as well as the local Greek community, who are heavily associated with the club.

The club submitted the application at the end of February last year after the West Gate Tunnel Project put out expressions of interest for community grants.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yarraville only received the news they had been successful in their quest in recent weeks, with local MP Melissa Horne visiting the club to make the funding announcement.

Cosentino explained how the club plans to use the grant to benefit not only the club, but the wider community as a whole.

“It’s a real community club, the members and the board have been around for quite a while,” he said.

“What we are looking to do is open up the club a lot more.

“We’ve got a floor space that we are going to renovate to be able to invite more school groups in. We already host little school football matches and tournaments and other things like that, but we want to open it up for more educational experiences and for FV if they want to do any sort of training courses from there.

“Community groups will be able to use the facility more, we’ll upgrade the positioning of the canteen area to be able to cater for that sort of stuff. We are also going to put in some dedicated female changerooms which we don’t have at the moment and female gyms. We will be able to have a much more female friendly environment.”

With a home Women’s World Cup on the way in 2023 Cosentino claims it is vital that the club has accessible facilities for all, as it continues to grow its female presence across the board.

“I think it’s extremely important and it’s the one area that we necessarily haven’t tapped into as a club,” he said.

“Because it is a very ethnic club and it is a little bit more male dominated, we are really trying to pull back women into the game.

“I think this is the third season we have got a senior women’s team and there are really healthy numbers, in the grassroots especially, that’s what we have noticed this year.

“It’s massive, when you think about it it’s 50 percent of the population, it really needs to be tapped into. It’s what I consider a safe sport, it’s not like they are going to get their head knocked off or anything like that and its very community orientated.”

The club continues to work with council around the intricacies of the grant, with alternative renovations possibly made in the future.

“We’re working closely with council at the moment and there’s a lot of good governance structures, the process is as mature as I’ve seen in a very long time,” Cosentino concluded.

Image Credit: Melissa Horne MP

New community club support initiatives to be rolled out by Football Queensland

Football Queensland (FQ) has announced they will introduce a new offering of club support initiatives over the next weeks and months.

Football Queensland (FQ) has announced they will introduce a new offering of club support initiatives over the next weeks and months.

The move will benefit clubs based in the Sunshine State, as Football Queensland continue to focus on ways to strengthen the community, grassroots and volunteers for a more sustainable future.

“Football Queensland is committed to providing increased support to our clubs and dedicated volunteers at all levels of the game and this extensive new set of club support resources will provide practical guidance and support on a range of administration matters,” FQ President Ben Richardson said.

This news follows on from FQ’s announcement last week regarding their upgraded Club Support Hub, which is a go-to destination for club administrators to access important resources, guides and assistance with club processes and procedures.

“Following the launch of Football Queensland’s upgraded Club Support Hub last week, the introduction of FQ’s new club support initiatives will begin with an exciting new volunteer program which will be launched across the state in the coming weeks,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“As the season progresses, FQ will release a range of tailored resources for clubs that include new resources designed to inform clubs about specific operational activities including finance planning and budgeting, running an AGM and understanding the roles and responsibilities of committee members among others.

“Volunteers are critical to club operations, especially at this time of the season, so we are looking forward to providing an additional level of support to Queensland clubs as we strive to make the job easier for all volunteers.

“The development of additional club resources aligns with FQ’s commitment to providing high levels of customer service through the implementation of new technology and processes, while supporting clubs to deliver high-quality participation experiences in line with our Strategic Plan.

“We are excited to continue providing our clubs and volunteers across Queensland with unprecedented levels of support through the ongoing development of our Club Support Hub and the release of high-quality resources to strengthen our clubs at every level of the game.”

You can find the Club Support Hub here.

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