"Today I'm thinking of all the girls who were told 'no'."

Today I’m thinking about all the girls that were told no, you can’t, it’s not ladylike, it’s not for you.

I’m thinking about all the girls who did it anyway, who said I’m going to be my own hero, who said, you think I can’t? I’ll prove you wrong.

I’m thinking about the girls who got kicked out of the game as kids, at 12, 13, 14, the girls who found their way back as adults, but I’m mostly thinking about the girls who never found it again, who were too intimidated or who never had a chance to give it a try in the first place.

I’m thinking about all the misfits, the queer girls, the straight tomboys, who were told you’ll never find a husband, they’ll think you’re gay if you play. I’m thinking of the girls who said, this is my game, the gossip pales in the shadow of my joy as I gather the ball, kick it down the wing, sing the song with my mates.

I’m thinking about the girls who moved towns or to the city or interstate, to find their team. I’m thinking of the girls who found a team and discovered their family.


I’m thinking about all the girls who said, you might talk about equality, but I’m actually demanding it through my actions, so get out of my way.

I’m thinking about all the clubs, the parents, the administrators, who got in the way and locked the doors. I’m thinking about those that changed their minds and I’m thinking about the ones who busted the doors down.

I’m thinking about all the women who got together and started a team out of nothing, borrowed balls and sweaty jumpers, lobbied a council and talked their way into a men’s club to get an hour or 2 on the worst oval.

I’m thinking about my son, and all the sons and all the daughters, who will grow up now never knowing any different.

The new AFL Womens Ad is awesome on Mamamia Out Loud. 

But selfishly and most of all, I’m thinking about 8 year old me, who would have collected every newspaper this week, cut out every photo of Darcy and Daisy and Katie and Aasta and Melissa and everyone else and stuck them on her wall and dreamt about being what she could now see.

This post was originally published on Change Her Game and was republished here with full permission.

Julia Chiera is a three-time premiership player with the Darebin Falcons and a former President of the club. Julia is a board member contributor of “Change her Game” and is a co-host of the “This AFL Life” podcast discussing the current AFLW season. Professionally, Julia is a social worker and a teacher. She is currently on maternity leave raising her one-year old son.