Bec Goddard has been a trailblazer for women in a range of sporting pursuits, including as coach of the Adelaide Crows women’s AFL team when they won the flag in the inaugural season.
She was also the first female field umpire in the North East Australian Football League, and the first female to be involved in the coaching structure at an NEAFL club. Bec was also an assistant coach with the UC Capitals when the team won their first WNBL title in eight years.
With this resume, you could assume that her pathway has been well and truly established for a full-time coaching role in a range of sports.
But up until now, that pathway has been anything but clear for Bec. A number of hurdles were apparent, including a reluctance from AFL clubs to appoint a female coach for their AFLW teams.
Those barriers have created frustration, but the determination to achieve that goal has never dissipated; if anything, it has fuelled her desire.
And finally, that perseverance has paid off with Bec today appointed head coach of Hawthorn’s VFLW team.
The aim now is to get a robust and successful program in place in readiness for Hawthorn’s admission into the AFLW competition.
As an added bonus for Goddard, she will be coaching at the very club she has long supported.
“To have another opportunity to coach football at an elite club, and to be joining the team I grew up supporting, is incredible,” Goddard says.
Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves says Bec will add plenty to the club.
“She’s an accomplished and respected leader who will be able to impart incredible insight on our program,” Reeves says.
Although currently deployed overseas with the AFP, Bec will return home in mid-December before heading to Melbourne to meet the team. And a big year is definitely anticipated.
As Bec says: “It feels like I’m living a dream.”