Support of 53,000
Who would want to spend their Sunday afternoon watching women kick a footy around?
Last weekend, the answer to that was 53,034 people.
This number represents the record-breaking crowd who converged on Adelaide Oval to watch the AFLW Grand Final, played between the Adelaide Crows and Carlton. The final attendance count dwarfed the 30,000 that organisers were hoping for and is reportedly the fifth largest Adelaide Oval crowd in AFL history.
However, the success of the AFLW is about so much more than just women playing footy. It represents women’s involvement in a pursuit which has traditionally been dominated by men and, even more exciting, is the fact that so much of the country is getting on board in support.
Upon acceptance of the AFLW’s Best and Fairest Award on Tuesday night, Erin Phillips spoke to this fact as she referenced her father, football legend Greg Phillips: “When I was born, people felt sorry for him because he didn't have a son to play footy someday, to carry the Phillips name. Dad … you can stick it up those people who said that to you.”
Now, 33 years later, not only are women playing footy, but they are doing it on mass. In fact, in February this year, the AFL released statistics which show that women now make up 32% of Australian Rules Football participants worldwide. This is following a 14.2% increase in female participation during 2018.
What we see unfolding within the AFLW is symbolic of women’s increased involvement in non-traditional areas across society as a whole. Particularly, it mirrors what is happening within the workplace. Here at Diversity Inclusion we are proud to work with a number of organisations who are supportive of women’s involvement in industries and roles which are traditionally male dominated. For more information about the work we do, check out our website here.
Georgia Brown, Diversity Inclusion
AFL participation data source: https://womens.afl/news/16754/females-lead-big-rise-in-football-participation-rate