During the disruptions and devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Officer City SC saw an opportunity to grow its women and girls program.
The club enlisted itself in the Changemakers Project, an initiative designed to equip sporting organisations to create tangible and meaningful changes that will lead to a growth of female participation.
Supplementing this, Officer City received funding from Football Victoria to run a GO Girls program – a fun, social and non-competitive program aimed at getting more young girls, aged between 12-16, involved in the beautiful game.
The combination of Change Makers and GO Girls revolutionised Officer City SC’s women and girls program, with Club President Cheree Appledore stating it did wonders to boost participation and introduce more young girls than ever before to football.
“GO Girls was a game changer for the club. It allowed us to reach young girls through a tailored program that is specifically designed to introduce girls of all skill levels to our sport,” she said.
“The age group which we targeted historically didn’t have as many new participants, but the interest we have received just in Term 1 of this year for GO Girls Program has made us scramble to find more space for them. Something which we have been more than happy to do.”
As a result of the GO Girls grant, Officer City SC was able to provide free club memberships to the GO Girls participants and fully fund the appointment of the program’s leader, Amelia.
“The girls came in wanting to be introduced to the sport now have a passion for the sport and a first in our clubs history we have our very first female team,” she added.
“We are beyond pumped and really do see this expanding to even more female teams over the next few years. As a club we want our members to be a representation of our areas demographic which is 50% female.”
After previously lacking female participation, the club’s willingness to adopt the GO Girls program has had an enormous impact on introducing new young women and girls to football.