It seems the influence of the AFLW and the continual growth of female football teams in local competitions has encouraged some of OCC participants to take part in the sport.
OCC participant, Linda, and OCCE supported employee, Stephanie, have laced up their boots to join the Mazenod Panthers all-abilities football team this year. They join fellow player, Emily, to boost the female quota represented.
Linda has been a long-time supporter of the Mazenod Panthers, with her housemates, Roger and Tim, playing with the club for many years. “She was attending all the games, social events and presentations so it just made sense that she start to train and play with the club,” says Linda’s key support worker, Jen. According to Jen, Linda loves the social aspect that the club provides and she has made some lifelong friends. The training has enthused both Linda and Stephanie and provides much talk at work and at home.
Stephanie’s husband, Chip, also plays at the club and was one of the reasons Stephanie was drawn to play. Linda and Stephanie played their first game on Sunday 7 April, unfortunately losing to Williamstown. However, if you ask Linda, they’re always winners, which pretty much sums up the positive influence the sport has on her.
Mazenod Panthers play in the AFLVIC/Football Integration Development Association (AFLVIC/FIDA), in a competition of 16 clubs throughout Victoria.