|Lulu watching the post AFLW Grand Final Party|
I discovered by accident one night that my daughter likes to watch sport. We had turned on the tv at Grandma's and the channel was the one playing an AFL Women's game. She asked to keep watching rather than turn to cartoons. So we did. My husband and I aren't the biggest sports fans so I subsequently forgot about how much she enjoyed watching the women's footy until she came home with the flyer for AusKick. They've been doing AusKick at school and she asked to keep doing it when the AusKick season starts. We still hadn't watched any other games of AFL but I heard somehow that the AFL Women's grand final was on last Saturday, so I asked Lulu if she wanted to watch it and she did.
Come the morning of the final I had to catch myself and go, wait a second, for the men's grand final we all make a huge deal, even us non-afl watching people gather with friends, eat food and watch the game. But for the women's game, watching it was kind of an afterthought. It seemed to be for the AFL too. Although there was a fair chance that the Brisbane Lions top of the ladder, meaning that they would have their grand final at their home ground, no one thought to ensure that the Gabba would be available to them. Alternatively no one sought to change the game location to the MCG, where all men's finals are played, regardless of where the men's teams are from. (And on a side note, the women's final is not a lead story on the Age the morning after, instead the Essendon win is front and centre with 5 stories about the men's AFL and one small story about the women's final. Unless you looked carefully you wouldn't even know it happened.)
To make it into an event we quickly sourced nachos ingredients & Lulu settled into watch the game while I put Zelda down for her nap. Lulu watched intently the entire time. She was disappointed that her purple team that she'd watched at Grandma's wasn't in the final, so she went for the Crows because half the team are from the NT. She was also a little disappointed that they did not show any of the AusKick at half time, but other than that she loved watching the game.
|L - The Crows' Erin Phillips takes a mark (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media) and R - Anne Hatchard during the 2017 AFLW Grand Final (Photo by Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)|
I am so glad that she can watch these women play sport and Lulu can say that she's going to play just like them. Next season we are going to attend a game, watch more on tv and host a grand final party. It won't be an afterthought. It will be our focus. It is so important to show our daughters that the women's comp matters just as much as the men's. Alison Smirnoff also believes in promoting women in sport and is launching individual assistant grants to help professional female athletes. You can lend your support here at Change Her Game.