*Pic courtesy of The Mercury
After being in doubt in 2021, high-level women’s football is alive and well at the Glenorchy RSEA Magpies thanks to the generosity of a group of local businesses, with a trip to Melbourne highlighting an exciting Elite Women’s Program.
“While our women’s team strongly wanted to compete in the TSLW this year, with that competition put into hiatus for 2021, the club needed support to make sure our players were not lost to football or forced interstate without a local aspirational pathway for women,” club CEO Daryl Potter said.
Enter a group of five local businesses - including Temporary Fencing Hire (TFH) and Water Industry Solutions - who have pledged up to $40,000 to cover the cost of the Elite Women's Program, while our club’s naming rights partner RSEA Safety has recommitted as a major sponsor of our women's team in another huge boost.
“It speaks volumes for the community-mindedness of these businesses that they stepped up so quickly and generously knowing our women’s program was at risk, and we can’t thank them enough for that,” Mr Potter said.
Elite women's program
Their financial support and the creation of the 2021 Elite Women’s Program has avoided an exodus of players, allowing the women's team to not only survive but now thrive in 2021.
An early highlight of the program was the first-ever Dickson-Lynch Trophy game on Saturday 20 March at Windsor Park, made possible by the support of TFH.
The trophy has been created to keep the storied Launceston-Glenorchy rivalry alive, the two clubs having met in the finals in each of the past four years and played in a combined six grand finals in that time.
It also recognises TSLW premiership captains Ange Dickson and Nietta Lynch, with Glenorchy’s best player awarded the Sandy Eaton Medal, an honour claimed first-up by new vice-captain Jenna Farrow in a strong Magpie victory.
“Ange, Neets and Sandy were all instrumental in making women’s and girls’ footy what it is today in Tasmania,” Glenorchy captain Brie Barwick said.
“Because of the work of that generation of players, we now have a huge number of girls emerging from junior footy who are incredibly talented.
“It’s really pleasing that Launy and Glenorchy will now play for the Dickson-Lynch Trophy, and hopefully that will still be the case in 50 years and beyond.”
That was followed by the first interstate challenge of the Elite Women's Program, a trip to Victoria to take on the Frankston Dolphins at the picturesque SkyBus Stadium last Saturday (27 March), made possible by the support of Water Industry Solutions.
The teams played for the Susan Alberti Cup, the renowned supporter of women's football a patron of the Dolphins, with the Glenorchy girls claiming the silverware in what is set to be the first of many interstate challenges between the two clubs.
"It was an amazing experience to go over to Melbourne and represent our club and Tassie footy in general, and the girls did an amazing job," captain Brie Barwick said.
The Magpies are now 3-0 in their 2021 season with wins over Kingborough, Launceston and Frankston, with some big challenges to come soon.
Stay tuned for some more exciting announcements, with the Elite Women’s Program working around the club’s SFLW season, which commences on ANZAC Day at the Twin Ovals.
“We thank the SFLW for incorporating our women’s team into their competition, it has been a real challenge and we’re thankful for all the time the league and its clubs have put into finding solutions,” Mr Potter said.
“Community football is incredibly important and contributes a lot to our community, just as high-level footy is important for both current and future players to aim high on and off the field.
“We see this with the likes of Mia King, Daria Bannister and Nicole Bresnehan and others representing Tasmania with pride in the AFLW, and Sarah Skinner playing outstanding football in the VFLW.
“We’re glad we can find the balance between both levels of football, and that’s thanks to the generosity of TFH, Water Industry Solutions, RSEA Safety and the other supporting businesses who will sponsor future games in the program.”
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