Shooting for Gold
By Prue Hartley
With record attendance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, young girls have been inspired to shoot goals and for the stars including the girls at the New Farm United Football Club.
Director of coaching for the New Farm United Football Club, Jim Medland said, “I was coaching one of our girls’ teams yesterday, and the girls were calling each other by Matildas players names, rather than their own names.”
“Female participation in junior football even before the World Cup had been increasing; our club had almost a 20 per cent increase in membership over the past year, but with the success and influence of the Matildas, I expect increased female participation,” Mr Medland said.
Mr Medland said that the increased interest in football, while a huge positive, recognises that this increased interest puts a strain on government support in Queensland.
“We’re always hopeful for the government to continue to support football and accept that the government has finite resources to distribute to many sporting organisations but hope that they recognise the increased demand on football clubs,” he said.
The football club is funded by the players’ annual registration fees, many local businesses that support the club, the Brisbane City Council and there are several grants available to clubs each year.
“This year, we were successful in receiving a $200k grant to upgrade our changeroom and toilet facilities to make them more female accessible and is expected to be completed over our offseason this summer,” Mr Medland said.
“As a community club, the young girls in our area really enjoy playing with their friends and the popularity of the World Cup has promoted the benefits of a healthy, outdoor pastime like football,” he said.