On this International Women’s Day, the AFL Outer East would like to acknowledge the inspiring women within the Outer East community and their invaluable contribution to the league.
Within football, netball and across the region, Outer East women are paving the way for future generations of female players, leaders, and community members.
The newly-formed AFL Outer East Women’s Advisory Group, made up of key figures from within clubland and across the region, aims to create opportunities for women to take on senior leadership roles within the league.
The group, whose first initiative was a two-part Women in Leadership webinar series in November 2020, featuring special guest Lisa Alexander, will also support the League in developing a gender equality policy and other matters involving women and girls.
Advisory Group member and much-loved community sporting figure, Pakenham Lions Netball Club president, Marg Jones, said it was crucial for girls and women to see role models around them at clubland.
“More than half of all participants in our region’s competitions are female, and we have so much to offer in what we can do both on and off the court and field. We want to make leadership an attractive choice for both women and men,” she said.
“We’re empowered to continue doing what we’re doing. It’s exciting and I hope I can continue to lead at my club and inspire other younger women to do the same.”
“Today is a day to celebrate all the amazing women within our league, whether they’re in a committee role, they’re an official, or a coach. We have so many amazing people within the Outer East Community.”
Jones, who balances her Pakenham Lions commitments with full-time work and family life, was aptly awarded Volunteer of the Year at the 2020 Netball Victoria Community Awards.
Following her involvement at the club for 12 years, including four years as president, Jones recognised for her tireless efforts throughout the disrupted COVID-19 year, particularly her endeavours in maintaining a positive environment amongst the athletes and support staff.
She maintained constant communication across the club, personally checking in on each player, coach, committee member and sponsor on a fortnightly basis, and posted daily return-to-play updates daily online and via email.
She did not miss one person’s birthday, and coordinated weekly zoom sessions with guests that ranged from strength and conditioning, yoga, team chats, committee meetings and Sport and Life Training Programs.
“Everyone has a role to play within a club, and it’s about working together in a united and optimistic way,” she said.
“I couldn’t have achieved what I did without the team I worked with on a day-to-day basis, and I can’t sing their praises enough. That’s what I love, we all strive for the betterment for our players.”
AFL Outer East 2021 women’s football and netball player registrations are now open, with the league providing significant discounts to assist participants through post-COVID recovery.
To register, click here.