Women celebrate role in world game

LOCAL Football Tasmania players are celebrating the enormous contributions women and girls make to the World Game in Tasmania as part of this week’s 2022 Female Football Week.

The week includes activities across the state to promote female football participation and increase opportunities for women and girls to develop and thrive as players, coaches, referees and leaders. Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley said it was important to celebrate the role of women in football in order to continue to increase participation and development opportunities.

“To put it simply, football wouldn’t be the fantastic, vibrant and loved community sport it is in Tasmania without women and girls,” Mr Bulkeley said. “Week-in, week-out, women make football richer through their involvement and are a huge part of why the World Game has become Tasmania’s most played team sport. “Tasmania proudly has the highest female football participation rate in the nation, with 29 per cent of our registration base made up of women and girls.

“Our goal is for this figure to reach 50 per cent, and with the 2023 Women’s World Cup coming to Australia, and a strong chance of some of our venues being chosen as basecamps for the tournament, we’re confident we’ll get there sooner rather than later.

“We are also proud to have a truly statewide top-flight competition in the MyState Women’s Super League, giving talented players from all corners of the state the opportunity to play at the highest level in Tasmania. “While the women’s game has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years across Australia, we think this is just the beginning of the wave and we can’t wait to see it grow further.”

Tasmanian referee Lauren Hargrave, who made her international debut as an assistant referee in a match between the Matildas and New Zealand earlier this year, will participate in a Q&A session at today’s state wide cup gala day as part of Female Football Week.

Ms Hargrave said she was proud to play a role in celebrating females in football. “When I come back to Tasmania, and as I follow the leagues online, it is great to see the game developing and progressing. There are more opportunities for women and girls to be involved at a level they choose, and they have access to better facilities,” Ms Hargrave said.

“It is exciting to see that there are some talented young referees making their mark on the state, as well as an ever developing pool of talented female players, coaches, administrators and media.” “I hope that by displaying what’s possible in refereeing, and in football more broadly, it encourages more girls and women to take up the game in whatever shape or form that suits them.”