In just a few short months, the AFL Women’s League has given us countless new role models, challenged long-held stigma around LGBTQI athletes in Australia, and brought the male-dominated sport to a whole new demographic.
The move has pushed a generation of young women and girls into action, who can now dream of growing up to be the next Darcy Vescio or Sarah Perkins.
The Darebin Women’s Sport Club Falcons is one of the many clubs responsible for fostering the new wave of talented female football players, and right now they need your help.
The Falcons, who will celebrate their 25th birthday this year, are responsible for producing 16 of the AFLW’s current players, who wouldn’t have made it without one simple piece of equipment – a football.
The state league’s choice to opt for size four balls in line with the new national competition instead of four-and-a-half means the club will have to replace 100 training balls, at $88 a pop.
“The league will provide match balls, but we believe that the best way for footballers to improve their skills is to regularly have a footy in their hands on the training track,” Falcons committee member Alison Smirnoff to Mamamia.
She explained that for a community-run club surviving on the generosity of its members, the $8800 price tag was “quite prohibitive”.
The Falcons have therefore launched a GoFundMe campaign to ensure their players have the tools they need.
"We thought the timing was right to make a public appeal to help us nurture the next Daisy Pearce," Smirnoff, who also founded Change Her Game said.
"The GoFundMe campaign also ensures that we’re not taking money away from other areas of the club, such as our highly successful junior girls' soccer program."
At present, the club is receiving inquiries about their football program on a daily basis.
"This is further proof we require more footballs for training purposes," Smirnoff said.
"Our mission is to provide sporting opportunities for women and girls of all abilities, and to create a safe and inclusive environment to enable them to thrive."
You can help the Falcons reach their fundraising target via their GoFundMe page here.