AFLW players need to continue to push the boundaries

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You would be excused for thinking women’s football only started 15-20 years ago. However, women have been playing Australian rules football for more than 100 years. Word has it that during the 1950s, the legendary Teddy Whitten, Charlie Sutton and Richmond captain-coach Jack Dyer were just a few who were drivers in creating opportunities for women to play, with Dyer even offering to umpire women’s games.

Football has certainly changed from those days. No longer are we playing on muddy paddocks in soggy woollen jumpers. And we definitely don’t have games umpired by one of the men’s captain-coaches.

Captains at the AFLW season launch this week.Credit:AAP

Looking back on my cricket career I have seen first-hand the impact Cricket Australia’s decision to increase pay and provide full-time opportunities to its female players has had on both growing the game and increasing the skill levels of the athletes.

It’s time to push the boundaries. Pushing for change and asking for more is uncomfortable but without this nothing will change. AFLW players must keep the momentum going, not because we are grateful but because we need to make a change for a more equitable society.

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