Football Victoria recently held their Community in Business (CIB) event which saw women’s football and the World Cup as topics of discussion from representatives in the game.
The latest edition of the state’s burgeoning football industry provided an opportunity for Karen Pearce, Executive Manager of Growth and Inclusion at Football Victoria, to speak about the social and cultural barriers of co-hosting the upcoming World Cup, mentioning the generous support from the Victorian Government, as well as everyone else involved for providing and contributing to the opening of the Home of the Matildas facility.
The Home of Matildas at La Trobe University serves as a major step for growth in football in the country.
“We remain indebted to the Victorian Government for their generous contribution to making this vision a reality, the Federal Government, Latrobe University, Football Australia and all the individuals involved for allowing us to provide such an incredible facility for all of us to enjoy,” Karen Pearce said.
“This state-of-the-art precinct will change perceptions and accelerate profile and development for women’s and girl’s football by welcoming, inspiring and enabling our women and girls to know that they are strong, capable, worthy, determined and resilient are traits that can lead them to pursue any dream they aspire to.
“Less than two weeks until the Women’s World Cup where a record 32 qualified nations will compete for glory, where the reality of record ticket sales allows us to break the social and cultural barriers, where the worlds best teams will showcase their athleticism, grit and determination to strive to become the number one in the world, where the eyes of the world will be firmly focused on what playing like a girl does mean.”
Football Victoria still maintains the lofty goal of achieving 50/50 gender balance by 2027. Pearce praised the clubs who are doing their bit to make this possible.
“To our clubs who are tackling entrenched inequality through programs such as Change Makers and Club Changer and committed to creating a new norm, we thank you,” she said.
“The Women’s World Cup celebrates the power of women and that equity is not just a dream, but normalising it can be a reality.”
Football Australia Chairman Chris Nikou was the main who back in 2018 decided that this country is worthy of launching a bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. As a CIB guest, Nikou quickly spoke about what happens to Victorian and Australian football and if the Matildas do go all the way and win the competition.
“We have had great progress in the infrastructure but there’s more to be done – we really need to ride the wave from a physical infrastructure and participation perspective,” he said.
“There are opportunities for everyone, boys and girls, men and women, and all aspects whether it’s an administrator, player, coach or whatever you desire to do, we need to create pathways for people to achieve those outcomes.”
The Matildas commence their campaign on the opening day of the tournament, July 20, at Stadium Australia commencing 8pm.