Female footballers will stamp their mark on the new Metricon Stadium this weekend as part of Women’s Week in the AFL.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

Female footballers will stamp their mark on the new Metricon Stadium this weekend as part of Women’s Week in the AFL.

Young girls from the NAB AFL Auskick program in the Gold Coast/Northern Rivers region and the Carol Berry Cup primary schools competition will play at halftime in the Round 12 AFL clash at Metricon between the Gold Coast Suns and North Melbourne.

Players will come from state schools at Gaven, Caningeraba, Jubilee, Merrimac, Helensvale, Coomera Rivers and Elanora, plus St.Hilda’s College.

The Metricon promotion will be a forerunner to extended Women’s Week celebrations at the Gabba on Saturday week, when there will be a repeat exercise for other girls at halftime in the Brisbane Lions’ game against Richmond.

It’s all part of the AFL recognition and celebration of the role females play at all levels of Australian football, from participation to administration, volunteering and supporting.

Activities to take place interstate across a Round 12 fixture dedicated to Women’s Week include AFL and club functions, an all-female super clinic prior to the match between Melbourne and Collingwood, female participation in all half-time NAB AFL Auskick and a Live at the ‘G performance by Stonefield before the Geelong and Hawthorn match.

All this coincides with the Women’s National Championships, which are being held this week in Adelaide.

AFL General Manager National and International Development David Matthews said the contribution women and girls make to Australian football is critical to the development of the game.  

“Participation in Youth Girls competitions increased by a staggering 60 per cent in 2010 and a further 18 new competitions will commence this year across all states as a result of participation funding from the Australian Sports Commission. 

“This indicates a genuine appetite for Australian football and the need for structured pathways. 

“The AFL is committed to developing these pathways and opportunities for women and girls to be involved in Australian football whether it is as a player, umpire, coach, volunteer, administrator or supporter,” said Matthews, noting that women and girls are essential to the fabric of the national game, and have been for over 150 years.

Key women in football statistics include:

• 42 per cent of the viewing audience
• 35 per cent of club members   
• More than 73,400 participants
• 1500 accredited coaches
• More than 700 umpires

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