Why do women play the rough/risky game of AF? How can we get more ?

Carringbush2010

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No, not really. It's the only way they get to play in a pro standard female American football league. I have seen a few interviews with players, and haven't seen any that regard the attire as anything other than an evil they have to put up with.

It's also a league regularly in dispute with the players over conditions and the lack of pay.

Players seem to get treated with the respect you would expect from a group of guys that would come up with the concept of lingerie football.

I don't think it should be banned or anything, and the women are exercising free will, but it is built on a simple concept.
In a country with a couple of hundred million women, and no decent women's American football, you will always be able to find a hundred or 2 women willing to put up with a few seasons of crap to play.

They don't need to keep their players happy or treat them as anything other than a commodity, as they can always be replaced.

If your not body conscious, or your a bit of an exhibitionist, you might even enjoy playing for them. This doesn't change what the league is though.

I have always thought the AFL should chase them to switch. Last I heard, they got paid nothing, AFLW conditions and protections are a mile better, and there aren't rules about things like makeup (this alone shows it's not a real sports comp).

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You labelled it an embarrassment for the US right? Hardly an embarrassment, and from the interviews I've watched and listened to the players were remarking about strategy, preparation etc. - seems they enjoy playing grid iron.

I think what you're trying to highlight is the playing in skimpy outfits as embarrassing to a nation as a whole, you do realize that not everyone would see it that way right? Just like not everyone sees Trump as an embarrassment.

So they where skimpy outfits and play grid iron and are attractive, does that mean they should not be taken seriously or not take the game they play seriously?
 

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Sarah Rowe, 23 y.o. is an Irish woman with the most extraordinary & unique pedigree. Her time in the AFLW will attract much interest, from 3 sports. If she decides her long term, primary sporting interest is AF, it will be a great coup for the AFLW.

The County Mayo Forward & All-Ireland Finalist played in 2018 in front of a 50,000 stand-alone, world record crowd (female home and away competition; non-international), & has often been described as a Gaelic Football "sensation", etc.
This link explains her reasons for joining the AFLW. She said "Tackling is the part I was worried about...I've noticed you needed to get rid of the ball quickly...I'd be tackled in AFLW...but this ball, well, the unpredictable ball is what I call it".

https://www.playersvoice.com.au/sarah-rowe-somewhere-id-feel-at-home/#0XOhupoWLMiohDWT.97

She has played soccer for the Ireland U19 soccer team that made the Euro semi- finals after, amazingly, defeating soccer powerhouses England, Spain, & Sweden in the Euro matches. Rowe has also played 5 times for the senior women's Ireland soccer team.
She was offered a VERY lucrative contract to play soccer for Atlanta University (to be paid to do a Master's degree!), in the formidible US female soccer College system.
I am surprised she has decided to travel 20,000 kms, & spend 5 months in Aust., to play in the less financially rewarding AFLW, cf US soccer.
(Apparently, however, her pay will be in the higher AFLW echelons).
The reasons for her rejection of this financially very significant US university Scholarship etc. are in the video link below.

 
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jatz14

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You labelled it an embarrassment for the US right? Hardly an embarrassment, and from the interviews I've watched and listened to the players were remarking about strategy, preparation etc. - seems they enjoy playing grid iron.

I think what you're trying to highlight is the playing in skimpy outfits as embarrassing to a nation as a whole, you do realize that not everyone would see it that way right? Just like not everyone sees Trump as an embarrassment.

So they where skimpy outfits and play grid iron and are attractive, does that mean they should not be taken seriously or not take the game they play seriously?
I know guys that wouldn't be embarrassed running into a restaurant naked and flapping their wang in a strangers face. That the person doing it isnt embarrased, or that he has mates that would find it hilarious, not embarrassing, doesn't make it reasonable.

From a personal aside, I have watched the LFL. I am not horrified or disgusted, or think it should be banned. They actually play very well and with great intensity and sincerity, the sport component is certainly real and valid. I am also certain women that would be horrified to be in that position do not apply to join the LFL. I have no doubt the players are more OK with it than lots of outsiders would be, again, because if they weren't, they wouldn't be there. An illegal immigrant in the US might be ok with working 10 hour days for $8 dollars an hour, this doesn't mean it isn't exploitation.

That some people watching do not find it embarrassing, that the players are there willingly and are ok with it, does not make it non exploitative, and that the only significant televised womens american football available is exploitative is something I would find fits the definition of an embarrassment.

We can apply a simple mental test.

If the NFL set up a paid female league on the lines of the AFLW, would the LFL players all switch to it, or would they be like, I like playing football in skimpy gear for nothing, while a bunch of guys make a mint of it, I will stay here?

If they stay because they want to, with an alternative available, then you have a point, if they're all out of there the first time a realistic alternative comes up?

Edit: This was my original point, The women may not personally have any problem with the attire, there are situations women would wear less, but I think the women are still aware the nature of the league is exploitative, in the pay, and how it is presented. The first real alternative that pops up, and they are out of there.
 
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Carringbush2010

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If the NFL set up a paid female league on the lines of the AFLW, would the LFL players all switch to it, or would they be like, I like playing football in skimpy gear for nothing, while a bunch of guys make a mint of it, I will stay here?
I think you're going to get varying answers to that, this is something that can't be just simplified and we group all women who play LFL in the same mindset. You could reverse the question also, say the AFLW is played in skimpy gear and that's the only avenue, would women play? Some yes and a lot no.

And yes I get your original point, we know it's exploitative to a point and practical to a point as it would draw more audience for example then if it weren't played in lingerie.

My point is nothing is simple, especially in these scenarios but I'd argue that the bulk of women who play LFL would not view their league as an "embarrassment to the US"
 

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Sarah Rowe, 23 y.o. is an Irish woman with the most extraordinary & unique pedigree. Her time in the AFLW will attract much interest, from 3 sports. If she decides her long term, primary sporting interest is AF, it will be a great coup for the AFLW.

The County Mayo Forward & All-Ireland Finalist played in 2018 in front of a 50,000 stand-alone, world record crowd (female home and away competition; non-international), & has often been described as a Gaelic Football "sensation", etc.
This link explains her reasons for joining the AFLW. She said "Tackling is the part I was worried about...I've noticed you needed to get rid of the ball quickly...I'd be tackled in AFLW...but this ball, well, the unpredictable ball is what I call it".

https://www.playersvoice.com.au/sarah-rowe-somewhere-id-feel-at-home/#0XOhupoWLMiohDWT.97

She has played soccer for the Ireland U19 soccer team that made the Euro semi- finals after, amazingly, defeating soccer powerhouses England, Spain, & Sweden in the Euro matches. Rowe has also played 5 times for the senior women's Ireland soccer team.
She was offered a VERY lucrative contract to play soccer for Atlanta University (to be paid to do a Master's degree!), in the formidible US female soccer College system.
I am surprised she has decided to travel 20,000 kms, & spend 5 months in Aust., to play in the less financially rewarding AFLW, cf US soccer.
(Apparently, however, her pay will be in the higher AFLW echelons).
The reasons for her rejection of this financially very significant US university Scholarship etc. are in the video link below.

I thought this quote from players voice relevant, talking about female GAA.

The sport’s gone from zero to 100 in the last three years since Lidl became the major sponsor and started doing a huge amount of marketing and promotion. The crowd on All-Ireland Final day went from 30,000 in 2015 to over 47,000, when we played against Dublin in 2017. This year it was a record 50,000.

Does the AFL have the balls to do the marketing the game requires, or are they stuck on AFLX?
Read more at https://www.playersvoice.com.au/sarah-rowe-somewhere-id-feel-at-home/#yvCc5zlRbKrtPVMS.99
 
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Eliza Hynes is 26 y.o., originally from Bendigo, & in 2019 will be promoted to Coll. FC AFLW no.1 ruckman. She joined as a Rookie crosscoder in 2018.

Hynes has previously represented Australia in jnr. netball, won an underage world championship medal in beach volleyball, and has played indoor volleyball professionally in Europe.
She said "I was a magpies supporter growing up... I love football, I loved kicking a ball in the back yard etc...I always wanted to play football"- but, of course, teenage females were banned from playing AF. Females then, sadly, had very little opportunity, encouragement, or pathways to play AF.

Eliza had to leave Bendigo & her family home, to pursue her pro-athlete dream, at 16 y.o. That was the time her parents separated.
Her frank & fairly heart-felt account re "...I didn't feel like I had that grounding of home anymore and I missed valuable time with my siblings", living in 16 different locations in three different countries, financial indebtidness, seeing a psychologist/taking medication, & "...spiralling of thoughts...bad days" is quite harrowing.

Eliza craved "... always...this big team feel...I was drawn to wanting a bigger family in my team". Let's hope that she is successful with Collingwood, in a sport that has the world's biggest team.
Good luck.

https://www.playersvoice.com.au/eliza-hynes-funding-own-dream/#f65LBiXtMCEz40P4.97
 
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La Trobe Uni. Ass. Prof. in Neuroscience, A. Pearce, has called for more Australian-based research- to reduce the MUCH higher rate of serious female AF injuries, cf male players. He said USA female research may not be applicable for female AF.

It is undeniable MUCH more training is required in:-

. correct tackling techniques (& not doing sling tackles)
. core strength exercises
. risk awareness
. correct defensive falling (on biceps only, not hands), breaking tackles (eg lifting one's arm)
. knee ligament strengthening exercises (eg squats/lunges etc.- minimum 1.5 hours pw, at home)

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01...n-but-research-lacking/10671280?section=sport
 
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(1) This link quotes female students from Mount St Joseph school, in Milperra, Syd. WS- & why they enjoy playing school AF. An inter-school female AF comp. was introduced in 2018.

Student Bronte said re AF
"It explores more skills than a lot of other sports. Most girls who have tried AFL have fallen in love with it".

Student Lana said re AF
"...I loved it...In AFL you have so many more components- hand to eye co-ordination, catching,kicking, and fitness".

Check out the photos of girls taking speccies- with assistance!

https://aboutcatholicschools.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/afl-aces-milperra-team-in-giants-cup-final/

(2) Sydneysider Erin McKinnon is very sporty. She was the youngest female to play in the AFLW in 2017 (18 y.o.); & has played previously basketball, netball, volleyball, soccer, & athletics.
Erin said
"
"AFL offered something different. There really is no other sport like it in the world. It's a 360 degree sport, and combines aspects of all different sports...The physical aspects- the tackling and bumping- really appealed to me...I think this physicality has helped form really strong bonds with team mates through CAMARADERIE (my emphasis)...".

https://womens.afl/discover/inspire/stand-tall

It is a common theme in GR female AF that there is also a self-described "special" feeling of camaraderie in AF because:-

. female teams can often have (in Melb. at least) c. 25- 35 players- thus it is easy to find "kindred spirits" & form friendships.

. in some female non-AF sporting teams, many females don't go to training regularly.
In AF, however, training is crucial, due to the complexity & wide range of skills needed to be acquired & practised. And, of course, non-attendance at training guarantees extra time on the bench! Most AF players, after 16 y.o., also do pre-season training from mid November.

This AF training (sometimes twice pw) facilitates friendships, with the catch-up/chat/sometimes Club pasta/bbq/soup etc. after training finishes.

. there is a reguirement in female AF (& male, of course) that a player is often required to do a defensive block/take a hit, to protect their "exposed" team mate,. This also engenders camaraderie.

. due to the large no. players in a team, for adult females (& male teams) there is usually some end-of-season Club trip planned -at least for 3 days duration. Financial discounts can often be obtained, due to the large no. booking (but male footy teams often pay a refundable Bond to ensure no damage is caused in the accomodation!)
 
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TWLS

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Good find BBT with the NSW Catholic Schools piece.
It appears that small comps comprising local schools in an area are springing up. In one case described 2 school teachers broke the ice but we never find out their backgounds = Why would they select our game at this time -Did they watch it on TV and so on- Was it from the formation of the AFLW.

Getting them from schools to junior/senior clubs is the biggie.
 
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SEN Radio 13.2 K. Cornes Program

This article details the disturbingly high number of injuries in the AFL, & Cornes has called for a reduction in the interchange- to make players less ballistic, as they would need to have more rests in the pockets/not flood as much; & open up the game.

The average no. of tackles in the AFL in the 1980's was 40 per game (ie 20 per side)- now 140 per game (70 per side). Professor Norton, the AFL's own Injury/Game Analysis expert, has stated tackle/bump/collision/pushing injuries are at record highs in the AFL- & recommended interchange be reduced to 20-40 per team. Mike Fitzpatrick wanted 30 per team, but was voted down on the AFL Commission.

It is extremely worrying that women have c. 10 times the rate of serious knee injuries, & much higher rates of concussion, cf men. These are existential issues for female AF, & the AFLW.

It can be argued the interchange & constant flooding (with inevitably more sprinting/inevitably more ballistic tackling/bumping/collisions etc.) has become an OHS issue (as well as giving AF a bad safety reputation). The AFL will not be able to bury/spin these increasingly severe injury problems.

https://www.sen.com.au/news/2019/02/12/is-it-time-to-reduce-interchange-rotations/
 
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jatz14

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SEN Radio 13.2 K. Cornes Program

This article details the disturbingly high number of injuries in the AFL, & Cornes has called for a reduction in the interchange- to make players less ballistic, as they would need to have more rests in the pockets/not flood as much; & open up the game.

The average no. of tackles in the AFL in the 1980's was 40 per game (ie 20 per side)- now 140 per game (70 per side). Professor Norton, the AFL's own Injury/Game Analysis expert, has stated tackle/bump/collision/pushing injuries are at record highs in the AFL- & recommended interchange be reduced to 20-40 per team. Mike Fitzpatrick wanted 30 per team, but was voted down on the AFL Commission.

It is extremely worrying that women have c. 10 times the rate of serious knee injuries, & much higher rates of concussion, cf men. These are existential issues for female AF, & the AFLW.

It can strongly be argued the interchange & constant flooding (with inevitably more sprinting/inevitably higher tackling/bumping/collisions etc.) has become an OHS issue (as well as giving AF a bad safety reputation). The AFL will not be able to bury/spin these increasingly severe injury problems.

https://www.sen.com.au/news/2019/02/12/is-it-time-to-reduce-interchange-rotations/
Is the knee injury rate significantly (or at all) higher than, soccer, netball, basketball, hockey etc.

It has been known for many years that netball has a very high serious knee injury rate (is it higher than in AFL?), which does not appear to be an existential crises for them.

I would also point out that a significant percentage of ACLs in AFLW occur at training, and involve no contact at all.

In an interview of Shae Sloan after she did her ACL, she pointed out that she had played volleyball, and several of her volleyball teammates had done ACLs, and that the action that lead to her doing her injury was an action she had done thousands of times.

It can be argued, most ACL injuries do not involve physical contact, or movements unique to AFL. That the ACL injury rate in AFLW is in fact entirely consistent with the ACL injury rate in all sports involving turning, jumping, propping. What has changed is that people that never followed womens sport have become aware of it.
 

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Is the knee injury rate significantly (or at all) higher than, soccer, netball, basketball, hockey etc.[I don't know-netball has the sudden stopping Rule]

It has been known for many years that netball has a very high serious knee injury rate (is it higher than in AFL?), which does not appear to be an existential crises for them.[Correct. But netballers don't also have the disturbing concussion problems of female AF players; nor do netballers suffer also from the RECORD high injury rates, not just knee, in the AFL- as identified by Prof. Norton- from AF tackling/bumping/pushing/collisions]

I would also point out that a significant [?] percentage of ACLs in AFLW occur at training, and involve no [?] contact at all.[Details please]
It can be argued, most[?] ACL injuries do not involve physical contact, or movements unique to AFL.[Details please] That the ACL injury rate in AFLW is in fact entirely consistent with the ACL injury rate in all sports involving turning, jumping, propping[Is it?]/QUOTE]


The tackle rates in female AF "tackleball" are horrendous- there is also considerable bumping, pushing, & collisions. These factors (possibly excluding infrequent soccer leg "challenges"/trips) don't apply to netball, basketball, soccer, & hockey.

It would be absurd to suggest that AF tackling, bumping, pushing & collisions don't produce relatively high injury rates- cf other non-body contact sports, & not limited to knee injuries.

The FFA, FIFA, etc., soccer afficianados, & the army of soccer mums, in every country, have always heavily promoted the relative safety (cf body-contact sports) of soccer as one of its most desirable features. (Anecdotally, GR netball officials are also warning females re "high" AF injury rates). Do you dispute this- if so, on what basis?
Are you arguing they are all wrong in their "propaganda" & safety perceptions?

Do you believe it is imperative for the AFL (ie in the players' health interests &, strategically, for AF's reputation & future growth) to reduce the current injury rates (whilst retaining the game's core features, as enunciated in The Charter Of The Game)?
 
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According to this U.S. based article which talks about the ACL injury rate in Women Athletes and says as Womens participation numbers have increased since 1972 the Number of ACL`s has increased also in certain Womens sports in the U.S. like Soccer Football and Basketball.
The straight ahead sports are largely not affected they say.
So here we have an article that goes back decades not weeks and it appears that it is a problem that needs extra attention.
The next question is - What is an acceptable rate -None -Which may or may not be achievable.

https://www.momsteam.com/health-safety/muscles-joints-bones/knee/acl-injuries-in-female-athletes
 
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owen87

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The next question is - What is an acceptable rate -None -Which may or may not be achievable.
All sports have injuries. You acccept that as part of participating.

Some, such as those due to prohibited contact, should have the goal of zero. Others, such as ACL's or soft tissue injuries, will never be zero occurence.

We need to adjust our expectations and accept that these women are just as capable of choosing to participate in sporting activities, and taking on the ensuing risks, as the men are.

That said, where we can take preventative measures such as conditioning programs designed to stabilise and strengthen the muscles around the knee, to limit risks, then we should do so.
 
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(1) Sadly, AFLW ratings in 2019 have again significantly declined. Crowds are also in decline despite still being, generally, very good for stand-alone, non-international female sport The skill levels in the 2019 AFLW have continued to increase.

There is, virtually, universal acceptance that the creation of the AFLW in 2017 has been primarily responsible for the enormous boost in the nos. of females playing AF (now c. 530,000). The popularity of the AFLW, therefore, is essential to maximise this GR momentum. With declining AFLW popularity, female GR growth will, obviously, not be maximised.

Most AFLW games are entertaining, with adequate skills & scoring (AFLW games are much shorter; often played in very hot/humid skill-sapping conditions; women can't kick or handball as far- so it is inevitable there will be more congestion, stoppages, & relatively lower scoring).

To maximise the public appeal & Broadcasting Rights $ for the AFLW, more goals need to be kicked (which create more breaks in play, so more, very valuable ads can be played). It is completely unacceptable that a small no. of AFLW games, in fine conditions, have a total of 6 (or fewer!) goals being kicked; or quarters of 1/nil goals. It will severely damage the AFLW if there is a prolonged period of low scoring games. Allow the women time & space, so they can exercise their good AF skills.

Four new AFLW teams will be added in 2020. It is a real possibility the skill levels, on average, will then decline- & the AFLW's reputation/brand (amongst the curious, non "AFLW rusted on", mainstream AF fans) might be trashed.

The AFL must make AFLW rule changes for 2020 to ensure the games are more free-flowing & higher scoring.
Most of us know that the introduction of multiple interchanges, combined with a larger bench, are directly related to the very high levels of tackling/stoppages/congestion/low scoring we are experiencing in the AFLW (& AFL).
Chairman M. Fitzpatrick wanted a maximum of 30 interchanges per team in the AFL; as did the AFL's own expert on (record high) tackling/bumping etc. injury rates/game analysis, Prof. K. Norton. Norton wanted interchange to be reduced to between 20-40 per team.

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl...ecords-emerging-problems-20180901-p50153.html

(2) It is good to see the AFL is making available online sources etc. particularly devoted to making AF safer for females- including special leg strengthening exercises for females. If done 3 times pw (in their own time also), these exercises are claimed to significantly reduce the chances of ACL injuries.

https://coach.afl/female-football
 
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SEN Radio 14.5.19 G. Whateley Program and abc.net.au and Herald Sun

Two American women (who have both played AF in the USA, & are both mothers), S. Rohner & D. Marshall, have ambitions to play in the AFLW; & will very soon start playing in local Melb. AF (Aberfeldie) and/or the VFLW. They previously played soccer & rugby.

Some of their reasons for choosing AF in the USA are:-
."... we don't have the (welcoming, inclusive, including post match socialising, footy- my words) Club culture in the US"
. AF, for S. Rohner, is a "...wonderful, perfect match" for her "skills and aggression...a game based purely on kicking and full contact".

They hope, if they were selected to play in the AFLW, it "would give hope for women who are mothers...whose bodies have changed...who are older women".

They also mentioned that the USA has many millions of female soccer players, the most female soccer players of any country in the world, & many of these are very athletic. These women might consider attempting to switch to AF, if the AFLW offered an opportunity to be professional sports women. They want to be "ambassadors"/role models, if they succeed in Australia, for US women to consider opportunities in the AFLW.
(The US has c.4,000,000+ female outdoor soccer players- & millions of additional females also play indoor soccer. About 25% play both)

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05...rohner-denver-bulldogs/11081432?section=sport


https://www.heraldsun.com.au/subscribe/news/1/?sourceCode=HSWEB_WRE170_a&dest=https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/aflw/american-pair-make-trip-down-under-in-effort-to-join-afl-womens-ranks/news-story/b308745df88002e782c058
(Paywall- can anyone open it, & post here)
 
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Six-hour road trips and flights across the United States are part and parcel of playing footy for Sara Edwards Rohner and Dani Marshall.
Travelling to Melbourne to chase their dreams is just another chapter in the sporting adventures of the American pair as they embark on a quest to play in the AFLW in 2020.

The pair, from Denver, Colorado, and Phoenix, Arizona, respectively, became hooked on Australian rules despite a lack of teams or professional pathway, and are spending a month in Melbourne hoping to trial with AFLW clubs.

Marshall, 27, stumbled on Australian rules in 2009 while flicking television channels as a college freshman.

“I’d always wanted to play a full-contact sport,” the former soccer player said.

“When I watched footy, it was like, ‘oh, gosh, this is the perfect marriage of every sport that I’ve ever played’.

“You get to use your rebounding and catching skills from basketball, your timing from volleyball, your running and kicking from soccer, and tackling from rugby, and mesh it all into one.

“But there’s the freedom to do a lot more and be creative.”

Marshall regularly travels more than six hours each way to play matches, which she admits can be a hurdle when trying to recruit players.

In Melbourne, the pair has been training at Aberfeldie, an Essendon District Football League club.

Edwards Rohner, 34, has her husband, John, and three-year-old son, Michael, in tow. She laments not taking up Aussie rules sooner, having spent 12 years playing rugby.

“This year, we’re flying to New York City as a club, we’re flying to Seattle as a club, and we’re flying to Florida for nationals,” Edwards Rohner said.

“This is all on our own dime. We don’t have the ultimate goal of playing pro in America — we do this because we love it and we have fun. We pay to play.

“It’s a real honour to be in this country right now and to be playing this country’s sport, and be welcomed with open arms by some of these teams. It’s amazing.”

To earn an AFLW contract would be a dream for the pair, who became emotional when asked what it would mean to play at the elite level.

“To be able to compete with women with the same drive and the same passion, and to be on the field with them, and train and play with them … that’s what we want,” Marshall said.
 
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1. Following Federal legislative change, the general public etc. (since financial year ending June 2018) can make tax deductible contributions to community sporting Clubs, via the Australian Sport Foundation guidelines.

I suggest, since encouraging females to play sport is one of the top 3 targets of the ASF, GR AF Clubs should heavily publicise & promote this tax deductible scheme to current individuals & sponsors; & potential new sponsors/companies to provide funding directly to clubs for female facilities etc.

https://ministryofsport.com.au/aust...deductions-by-donating-44-7-million-to-sport/

2."Next Gen, a national sports academy-based in Melbourne, is expanding their junior Australian Football program nationally, after being launched in late 2018....With children as young as 2 years old participating, the program is an all encompassing AFL -based program that ignites a love of the game of AFL through the teaching of specialised development exercises (my emphases)... The Next Gen Minis...the Program destined to be a never-before-seen resource available in Australia...".
(Not to be confused with the AFL Club Next Generation multicultural & Aboriginal academies).

What types of exercises would help AF skill acquisition?

It mentions an interesting/worrying statistic I have never heard before
"At a time when on average only 13% of girls are able to master the skills needed to kick a football...".

How was this statistic formulated eg after how many hours of kicking practice? What ages of girls? Older girls, to 18 y.o, should be much better at mastering kicking skills.

https://ministryofsport.com.au/star...r-girls-playing-football-at-grassroots-level/
 
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