Meet sport's first female President.

Emma Poynton.



Last week, I read an article about the huge victory for women in sport – where a sporting league made up entirely of women at the peak of their career gained funding for public broadcast on a major television network, and the women did not have to resort to taking off their clothes in order to gain media respect and public attention.

Only… this didn’t actually happen.

It seems for every small step forward women take in their chosen fields, there are two scantily-clad steps backward in putting them on equal footing with men in today’s society. So allow me to introduce you to the new wave of sports women.

Women who are unapologetic in their skill, strength, fitness and professionalism; women who can captivate their audience for a two hour game, selling sold out games and gaining a near cult following.

And here’s the best part: They’re not only fully clothed, but are covered from head to toe with minimal skin showing. These women don’t need to get half naked to capture your attention. These women are just plain awesome at what they do and people love to watch.

Often women’s sport is not as high profile as the male sport equivalent.

Welcome to the incredible, fast-paced world of Australian Women’s Ice Hockey, where the league is comprised of women varying in age who come together to thrill crowds all over the country in a sport that is seldom associated as Australian. Furthermore, please allow us to introduce Emma Poynton, who is not only a member of The Melbourne Ice Women’s team, but is also the first female President of a sporting league team in the country.

Emma or “Pres” as she is affectionately known is a clinical Sport’s Podiatrist, has a well established practice, meaning she  has dealt with athletes in various forms and capacities as well as being an athlete herself.


Treating professional athletes helps when dealing with the physical aspect of a players well-being, it also allows her to understand at a deeper level how team members feel and react to wins, losses, injuries and other challenges that confront them as individual players or as a team.

The “Pres” is also a member of the Melbourne Ice Women’s Team, and has completed a Masters of Health Specialization, juggling work, study and training at the same time.

After suffering a sprint career ending foot injury, which resulted in a surgical repair, forcing Emma to retire from the pro-circuit in Track Sprinting.

She took to Ice Hockey as a means to keeping active in sport, and admits that Ice Hockey seemed “a bit more exciting than speed skating” so she thought she’d give it a try. She initially enrolled into Hockey School at the Icehouse, where she first learned to skate, then to play hockey.

Emma admits that having come from a sprinting background where all you had to do was run in straight lines, it did take some time for her to pick up the finesse of skating, puck handling, offensive and defending plays and learning the game as a whole.

Once she started, there was no turning back, with the Melbourne Ice, enjoying three back-to-back championships in the Men’s League from 2009-2012, and 2 in the Women’s League. The Melbourne Ice Women’s team is currently unbeaten in the present season.

Emma states “It can be quite daunting to enter a sport like Ice Hockey as a female player, especially when all the hockey schools are co-ed. However on the ice it does not matter, boy or girl, as you are all equal as players.”

Emma and her team.

She adds, “Although I am the first female president of an AIHL club, I do not look at the role as a ‘Male versus Female’ job. I just see the job that needs to be done.”


“The sport is definitely a male dominated sport. This is never more obvious than when you are the only female travelling with your team and staff of 25 to interstate games for the Men’s League”.

“But I am so lucky and the team treats me with respect, I was actually surprised how quickly they adapted when I took on the role and instantly respected my place in the club.”

When asked about her thoughts on the discrepancy in the focus on male sports over female, she says “Often women’s sport is not as high profile as the male sport equivalent, but I truly believe over time this segregation between the two will diminish and hopefully one day, disappear entirely. As a professional athlete it’s tough to juggle training, competition and work/study commitments and a personal life, but as long as you love what you do, you have to have a go.”

The first female President of a sporting league team in the country.

Many of the players on the Women’s Team including Emma are currently seeking sponsorship.

Players fund their own place in the teams, and while they do not get paid to play, the deafening roar of the crowd says that this league of sports women is definitely worth getting behind, and not in the Robin Thicke kind of way.

If you would like to help support this league of strong, dedicated women, please contact Partial or Full Sponsorships are available.

Even better, come down to the Icehouse and check out one of The Melbourne Ice Women’s home games, and show your support for women in sport who not only dominate their fields, personal, professional and recreational, but do so without having to don a pair of sparkling panties.


The Melbourne Ice Women’s game Schedule can be found here.

Beth Anderson is a Singer/Songwriter and all-round Word Nerd living in Melbourne’s CBD, hailing from Perth, Western Australia. Her album went to number 1 in the month of its release on iTunes Australia and she is the sister of the late Cancer Crusader and Youtube tear-jerker Kristian Anderson. You can buy her album “To The Fall” on iTunes and find her blog here.

And in other sport news from the week…

– The Hockeyroos have won silver at the inaugural World League tournament. Australia held the half time advantage, but the Netherlands fought back to win 5-1.

– England has announced the squad for the women’s Ashes test against Australia in 2014. The teams will face off in one Test match, three one-day inter nations and three Twenty20 inter nations. England won the 2013 test 12-4. You can read our interviews with some of Australia’s female cricketers here and here.

– The 2014 NRL season is set for a shake-up, with significant changes being made to the role of cheerleaders within several clubs. The Canberra Raiders have sacked their cheerleaders all together, whilst the Canterbury Cheerleaders will have a significant altered role. The Canterbury Bulldog Cheerleaders will not be dancing pre and mid match for the 2014 season. The girls will instead focus on hospital visits and corporate events, in outfits designed specifically for the occasions. The ‘Belles’ will also no longer be known as cheerleaders because it will be a small portion of their role.

– Lauren Kitchen has won the Stan Siejka Cycling Classic in Tasmania. This is the second win for the 23-year-old.

– The Australian women’s water polo team, The Stingers, have placed second at the Canada Cup in Quebec. The full time score against the USA was even at 8-8, forcing the teams into penalties. USA claimed gold against the Aussie’s with a final score 12-10.

Have you seen anything in the sporting world that you’d like to talk about?