Australian football is set to celebrate the pioneers and key figures of the women’s game on the anniversary of the first public match in 1921 as today mark’s 100 years of celebrating Women’s football.
Even though Covid has put a strain on all football activities in NSW, Football NSW were fortunate to piece together a video message from various football ambassadors and female leaders alike commending the 100 years of women’s football.
NSW Minister for Sport Natalie Ward MLC, NSW Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor MLC, Football NSW Deputy Chair Fiona Lang, Football NSW Director Stephanie Brantz, Western Sydney Southern Districts Soccer FA Technical Director for Women Catherine Cannuli, Football NSW Institute Under 18’s coach Lisa Warrener and Manly United’s Technical Director for Women Sharon Eggar all took part in the special video message.
Football NSW Chairman Gilbert Lorquet paid tribute to the Women’s game in Australia that celebrated such an important milestone.
“100 years of women’s football in Australia. What a fantastic milestone.
“Congratulations to Football Queensland and all involved with the centenary celebration as we honour the past, celebrate the present and embrace the very bright future of women’s football in Australia, especially with the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“Super exciting times ahead.”
Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge echoed the Chairman’s sentiments.
“What an amazing milestone to reach for our women’s game that has certainly gone from strength to strength since its early beginnings 100 years ago.
“With so many fantastic female ambassadors across all levels of the game that were there from the beginning to seeing many more in our current climate, we can see evidently that the women’s game is making a huge impact on our sport.
“Congratulations to everyone involved in the Centenary celebrations as we look forward to commemorating many more wonderful milestones in years to come starting with the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”
Celebration wise, kitted up in long socks, long-sleeved football jerseys, baggy shorts, and purpose worn football shoes, the Reds of North Brisbane took on the Blues of South Brisbane at the GABBA on 24 September 1921.
On the sideline 10,000 people watched on as the Reds marched to a 2-0 victory.
This wasn’t the first women’s football match as records show reports of women’s teams being formed in New South Wales as early as 1903 and women playing during the first World War I.
What was different about the 1921 match was the public nature of it. For the first time supporters were on hand to watch an association football match between two women’s teams.
From that small spark 100 years ago, women’s football in Australia has grown into a much loved, well participated and highly supported game.
Women’s football has a rich history in Australia, and it is one full of inspirational women and male advocates who have championed and built the game in each of the States and Territories.
It is filled with stories of players and coaches, referees and administrators who have pushed the boundaries and set the foundations for today.
Across the nation, the women and girls’ participation base remain one the highest in the country with 156,893 registered participants according to the 2019 National Participation Report. In 2015 Roy Morgan Research reported that women’s football was the top team sport for girls aged 6 – 13.
Consistently one of Australia’s most beloved teams, the Commonwealth Bank Matildas are now household names with the players empowering the next generation to reach for their dreams.
It is a long way from that first public match!
24 September marks a day of celebration across all the Member Federations as we share stories and profile key figures in the early days of women’s football.
As the footprint of the women’s game continues to grow, and as we build towards becoming the first Australian sport to achieve a 50/50 gender participation split, there are more opportunities than ever before for women and girls to be involved in football.
With less than two years until the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, women’s football is poised to continue prospering into the century.
Check out some of the special messages our very own proud New South Welsh Women said about celebrating 100 years of Women’s football.