1908 saw the birth of what has come to be known as International Women’s Day when, at the time, women were campaigning for shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. Fortunately, since then the tone has changed, now we celebrate the progressive steps that have come thanks in large part to that movement and just how far we have advanced with gender equality.
It is an important day for the South Metro Junior Football League, as we would not function without the contributions provided by women in our local community. Not only are women prominent in our League as Board members and employed in key operational roles; but also feature importantly on game day as umpires and players, volunteering as coaches and team managers, trainers and even post match psychologists! And games just wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for the many mothers who perform the role of chauffeur (to training and games) with so much dedication.
In a sign that the League continues to develop and grow, in 2014 the SMJFL and its member clubs hope to field around 30 female teams, which is a vast increase on last year’s already respectable numbers, where they fielded 22 teams. The upcoming season will also see the introduction of a girls only umpiring group in an effort to encourage girls to play a greater role as field umpires.
Bernadette Vaux, the League’s Director of Female Football Development is eager to acknowledge the impact that women have had on the League.
“On this International Women’s Day, let’s take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the contribution women make in our league,” she said. “Thank you to all the mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and family members. We wouldn’t be the successful League we are without your involvement.”
There is no doubt that in this regard things have changed for the better since 1908; and, with the League doing their best to continue to implement and drive female involvement in football, it looks like the SMJFL will be grateful for their involvement for years to come.
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March the 8th.