Female Football

2022 International Women’s Day: The importance of female role models and their representation within football

March 8th, 2022

Annelise Rosnell – NNSWF Female Participation & Inclusion Officer

You can’t be what you can’t see.

It’s a simple premise but one that I live by. It inspires my work as Northern NSW Football’s Female Participation and Inclusion Officer but something that I carry with me in my personal life.

Football has been part of me for almost my entire life.

I have been a player, a referee and a coach. Now I’m making meaningful progress and change as well as creating opportunities for women and girls to be part of the game I love.

My role

I joined Northern NSW Football three years ago. My role focuses on creating and enhancing participation opportunities for women and girls, athletes with disabilities, Indigenous Australians and our multicultural communities.

Right now there is a heavy focus on women and girls with the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on the horizon. My work can include anything from educating club members and staff about inclusion for women and girls in football clubs to getting MiniRoos for Girls leagues off the ground and overseeing our Kick-Off for Girls program.

Growing up as a woman in football this is kind of the ideal job. I’m lucky getting to work on something I’m so passionate about.

Be inspired

I believe having female leaders within the community that you can look up to and aspire to be gives girls a reason to stay with not just football but any sport.

It could be a team captain, a coach, a mum that plays, someone on the committee, a school teacher who runs school football or administrators who champion the game at a national level.

It is important that these women are represented through the media and actively trying to reach girls instead of relying on girls seeking out ways to consume female football content.

It’s important because we need a female lens and lived experience when decisions are being made concerning women and girls football.

If you can see it, you can be it.

Role models

My role models were the women I played all-age football with on the north coast of NSW when I was 16.

I was quite a shy teenager and playing in my first all-female environment was something I believe has contributed to my confidence as an adult.

Not only did our team play quality football but my teammates were super supportive and encouraging off the field. They were advocates for the women’s game within my club. It was amazing as a young teen to be surrounded by strong, supportive women in an all-female football environment for the first time.

It also reaffirmed for me that playing football was something you could do in your adult life.

One of my teammates was a mother of a girl in the year above me at school. Her daughter eventually joined the team. The notion of a mother and daughter playing together is an experience I want to have with my kids one day.

If you’re a woman in football, whether that be as a player, a coach, a referee, an administrator or a volunteer, know that you have the potential to inspire the next generation.

That little girl at your football club might look up to you, might want to be you.

You have the chance to lead by example.

If you can see it, you can be it.

So be seen.

Related Topics:
2022 Annelise Rosnell International Women's Day

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