Hope rises eternal

Did you see the Women’s All-Stars Match in September: Western Bulldogs v Melbourne?

Apparently many of you did as the ratings showed a bigger audience than has viewed AFL games on a Saturday night all year.

It was a great game that impressed with its level of intensity and skills on display. The player of the match was Mo Hope, the forward for the Western Bulldogs, who scored six goals in an all-game display. I last saw her on an inspirational Australian Story last week (http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2016/s4525813.htm).

The story traced the relationship between Moana Hope and the philanthropist Susan Alberti, vice-president of the Western Bulldogs. Both have back stories of adversity, indeed tragedies, that make their personal responses so memorable. Watch the show – it’s great.

Alberti has been promoting the idea of a women’s AFL competition as a right, not a privilege, for many years. The two first met up in 2008, after Susan had made a significant donation to keep the VWFL afloat. They have formed a strong bond in the years since.

What a wonderful venture that we are now to see a women’s competition next year. Let’s not focus on the pay for now, let’s just concentrate on the opportunities that are now there for women who are passionate AFL supporters to get right behind an exciting new competition. SCGWhat a shame that my team, the Sydney Swans, has not seen fit to be part of the competition, particularly since the GWS Giants are fielding a team. There are so many passionate female supporters of the Swans – an opportunity missed. Yet hope rises eternal that we might soon see women playing at the SCG.