Yeronga Devils unveil upgraded changerooms

Hundreds of women and girls at the Yeronga South Brisbane Football Club will now have access to new and improved changerooms at Leyshon Park, following a $150,000 election commitment from the Queensland Government to help grow female footy across the state.

The club officially opened the doors to the new changerooms with Hon Mark Bailey, Minister for Transport and Main Roads and Member for Miller and Hon Stirling Hinchliffe, Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement cutting the ribbon in front of a jam-packed home crowd.  

The upgrades will include louvres for improved privacy, skylights to reduce electricity costs, cabinetry, and ice baths to support the club’s high-performance program.

Yeronga Devils has a long and proud history of female footy and is one of the foundation female footy clubs. In 2011, the club won its first women’s premiership, and in 2017 six players were drafted into the Brisbane Lions’ team for the inaugural AFLW. Since then, more than 30 players have been drafted into the AFLW and former Yeronga Premiership Players Lauren Arnell and Sam Virgo have gone on to coach Port Adelaide’s AFLW team. 

Yeronga has seen huge growth in female participation since launching its highly successful youth female football program last year which aimed to leverage the benefits of positive female role models while providing dedicated opportunities for females within the footy space.

Within the program there are four youth female coaching and mentor support roles, including 3 players from the senior club, in addition to two dedicated youth female football coordinators, as well as traditional team volunteer roles. Additionally, all youth girls’ teams have female coaches.

Since introducing the new program, Yeronga has recorded a 192% increase in female youth aged players registered at the club, a 103% per cent increase in overall female participation and a 64 per cent increase in girls Auskick participation.

This season, the club will field three U9s girls’ teams, the highest number in the state, adding to its already established junior youth female pathway in the South East Queensland competition.

President of the Yeronga South Brisbane Football Club Necole Wolf said she was thrilled with the new female friendly changerooms.

“Yeronga has a long and proud history of female footy being one of the foundation women’s football clubs in Queensland,” she said.

“We have worked extremely hard to provide a functional and inclusive space where everyone feels safe and welcome to play footy and these upgraded changerooms are just another example of that.

“The club will continue to grow women’s footy by providing players, coaches, administrators and volunteers the opportunity to be involved in an inclusive club with purpose-built facilities, high performance programs and coaching mentorship.”

Head of AFL Queensland Trisha Squires said the planning and development of fit-for-purpose infrastructure was vital to continue growing the game across the state.

“There are more Queenslanders than ever involved with Australian Rules at a community level from players to volunteers, umpires and coaches so we need to continue ensuring our game is inclusive for all with purpose-built facilities that are safe, accessible and welcoming for everyone involved with the game at a grassroots level,” she said.

“More than half of our facilities are now female friendly and hundreds of women and girls will benefit from these upgraded changerooms at Yeronga thanks to the hard work of the countless volunteers at Yeronga working with state and local government to make it happen.”

Female participation in Qld 

  • Since 2019, there has been a 24 per cent increase in female participation across the state.
  • There is now a clear pathway for women and girls to play Aussie Rules in Queensland from Auskick and U9s right through to seniors and AFLW.
  • Approximately 100 female coaches have already registered for the 2023 season, with many initiatives and resources in place to support them including the BHP She Can Coach Women in Coaching Forum which gives community coaches the opportunity to work with AFL coaches in a match day simulation to develop their skills and grow their networks. The BHP She Can Coach program gives community coaches access to development and networking across the state as well as access to game day coaching simulation opportunities.
  • The number of female umpires has increased this year, with women and girls making up 17 per cent of the total number of umpires in Queensland at 223.
  • More than half of AFL Queensland facilities and umpire rooms are now female friendly.
  • More than $5 million in new investment will help fund phase one of the Women and Girls Action Plan for the next three years.


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