Women’s Australian rules football is on the rise across the ACT, in line with considerable growth of the game across Australia, including a significant increase in the number of young girls taking up the sport.
The increase in participation and profile of women’s AFL is reflected in a unique two-year sponsorship deal in which the Canberra Southern Cross Club becomes the official Community Club partner for AFL Canberra.
The Canberra Southern Cross Club has already demonstrated its commitment to AFL as a direct sponsor of the Tuggeranong Valley Australian Football Club, and the partnership with AFL Canberra broadens its interest and involvement in the game.
Canberra Southern Cross Club CEO Ian Mackay says the focus is on supporting community sport at a grassroots level through the partnership with AFL Canberra.
“We are particularly pleased that a minimum of 50 per cent of the funding provided through this partnership will be directed towards women’s football,” he says.
Two Canberra Southern Cross Club employees who play in the AFL Canberra women’s competition back up this sentiment.
“It is really positive to see this great organisation show its support for women’s AFL,” says Kasie Nugent, who plays for Eastlake Demons.
Stephanie Lahey, who plays for the Tuggeranong Valley Australian Football Club agrees.
“This is a great partnership which will provide great exposure for the women’s game in the ACT,” she says.
AFL Canberra’s community football and competition manager, Firas Shahin, says young girls and women will benefit significantly from this new partnership.
“It is fantastic to have the Canberra Southern Cross Club join us as a major partner,” he says. “This partnership is going to boost the overall investment in women’s football in the ACT and showcase a great connection with such a great community focused organisation.”
The partnership will see the Canberra Southern Cross Club sponsor the league’s runners, water carriers and trainers’ shirts, as well as supporting significant awards with the club’s contribution recognised through naming rights. The Canberra Southern Cross Club will also become AFL Canberra’s events partner.
As part of the partnership, Canberra Southern Cross Club will provide the weekly best-on-ground award in both the men’s and women’s first-grade feature games, as well as the prize for the premiership-winning teams in the men’s and women’s senior competitions.