Auburn Giants Challenge
The Auburn Giants are launching a competition to encourage all female footballers to improve their skills, with the inaugural national women's league only around the corner.
Spearheaded by the Giants leadership group, the campaign asks for players to assist in raising the bar for women's football, by acknowledging that the standard is currently set by the Victorian Women's Football League and to train to beat that standard.
Co-captain, Angela Priftis, was inspired by Ronda Rousey's recent media campaign. "I was really discouraged by some comments made on social media around the announcement of new women's teams in the Sydney AFL, which were disparaging to women's football. Ronda Rousey speaks a lot about the battles she faced to be taken seriously in male dominated sports in her autobiography and I thought, we should try to take our football to the next level. Our coach suggested using the Darebin Falcons, one of the best women's teams in Australia, as our standard. So we started our own academy training for our leadership group and now want to encourage everyone to join in".
Auburn's academy program so far has included individualised fitness regimes, grappling, and skills workshops, which the participants are finding challenging.
"I'm training five days a week with the girls now school is finished. It's harder than anything I've done before, but knowing how good the women at the Victorian academy already are, I know I've got to work hard to compete with them", said co-captain Haneen Zreika.
Auburn are inviting all players to enter into the competition by submitting videos of their training to their Facebook page.
"We want everyone to have a go at improving themselves. Post up a video of you practicing your kicks, training to improve your running or whatever you think is going to help you be part of setting a new standard in women's football. At least we won't have people constantly saying its a much lower standard than mens", Angela said.
The competition is currently active and open to all NSW/ACT players. Entries are accepted until the 31st of January, and Auburn will be posting their own video each week until then.