Uniform grants getting women’s football into gear

January 3, 2022 BY

Barwon Heads Football Club was one of three AFL Barwon clubs to receive funds as part of the Toyota Good for Footy Gear grants. Photo: SUPPLIED

A GRANT which proved fruitful for some of our regions’ women’s football programs in the past is back again in preparation for the 2022 season.

The Toyota Good for Footy Gear grant is returning for a third straight year and applications are now open.

The grant program is set to benefit 100 female football teams around the country next year with funding earmarked for brand new, specially designed uniforms.

Successful applicants will expect to receive $1,600 by explaining ‘why their team is worthy of the kit that fits’.

Three clubs within AFL Barwon’s jurisdiction were lucky enough to receive grants last season to put towards their senior women’s football sides’ apparel: Barwon Heads, Newtown & Chilwell, and St Joseph’s.

For Barwon Heads FC in 2021, it was able to provide its senior women’s side with new short-sleeved and long-sleeved warm up shirts thanks to the grant, designed by one of its own players exclusively for the women’s team.

“Once the girls found out we had been approved for the grant they were super excited,” Barwon Heads women’s coach Josh Bacely said.

“The warmup shirts were able to be worn both at training and before games, it was able to give them an extra air of confidence about them.

“They also looked more professional, with 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the girls wearing the tops at any given time, we looked like a more cohesive unit which is in line with what I try to preach as a coach.”

Another recipient of the grant, Newtown and Chilwell, applied its grant towards its senior women’s side in the form of new shorts.

Coordinator of the Newtown & Chilwell female football program Joe Daly said these grants were useful in offsetting some of the costs associated with the women’s inaugural season at the club in 2021, but there is still work to be done in this regard.

“There’s big costs to take into account as a club such as jumpers, shorts, fees and insurance, which this grant was useful for,” said Daly.

“The money which covered most of the shorts, allowed us to package a bundle including shorts, socks and stuff like that as part of their inaugural membership.

“Overall though there’s still not enough funding for this kind of stuff.

“While these grants do help, the women’s game is still years and years behind the men’s program given female football is still young, but you’ve really got to flood it in terms of resources to raise the women’s game.”

Both Barwon Heads and Newtown & Chilwell plan on applying for the grants again in 2022.

The Good for Footy program will take the number of clubs to have benefited from funding to 300 in 2022.

To date, clubs have shared in $320,000 of funding from Toyota over the past two years.

Teams are required to submit their application at www.toyota.com.au/community/partnerships/afl-aflw/gear before January 24.

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