By NATALIA HAWK
But this week, I wanted to talk to a very different kind of female involved in sport. The one that’s not on the actual field, kicking goals or wielding a cricket bat.
This article is about the females that are so often overlooked – the ones on the sidelines, with water bottles and biscuits. The ones driving kids to hockey and dance classes and washing their uniforms and reminding them about footy practice.
Behind every successful athlete out there, is a female that has helped them get to the level. For some, it might be a coach. For some, it might be a mother. For some, it might be a mother figure.
That’s who Mel Lamber is. Along with her husband, she works in welfare for the GWS GIANTS – an AFL team based out of Western Sydney that consists of 52 boys, the great majority aged between 18 and 21.
As a team, the GIANTS have a pretty amazing story. They entered the AFL at the start of 2012, and having such a young team means that their first couple of seasons have been a little bit slow – they’ve only won three games so far. But they’re developing quickly and many experts are predicting big things for the club. The Mamamia team even went along to a game, with writer Kahla telling me:
As somebody with a basic – okay, virtually non-existent – knowledge of AFL, watching the GWS Giants in action was enlightening on many, many levels. Here’s what I learned: AFL teams have awesomely rousing anthems; yelling out “Go son!” and “Ball!” is an appropriate reaction to good play; and the Giants’ corporate box has a lolly table to rival any Pick ‘n Mix stand you raided as a child. It was also really cool to witness the team spirit and excitement the Giants players drew from their supporters – it’s clear the folks of Greater Western Sydney are proud of their talented young men and were ecstatic to see them win.