Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ladies At Sydney Swans- L@SS

Being a female footy fan is tough at times. People think you're just there to perve at the guys, (Not true! That's only part of the reason I'm there) or that you've tagged along with dad/brother/boyfriend and have no idea what's going on.
But for many of us; this isn't the case.

I've been following football, both Rugby League and Aussie Rules (plus a bit of Union) my entire life. And while I've never played (that would be hilarious) and don't know every last rule there is to know, I do count myself as a big fan.

I attend many matches in Sydney every year as well as going interestate for various games each season too. And I'm sure there are many, many others out there who are similar and even more dedicated than I am.

Over the years I've even mustered up enough courage to go to Roosters' and Swans' games on my own and even attended a few in last year's final series that had nothing to do with my team.

That is why I'm so glad that the Sydney Swans have come up with a brilliant initiative to encourage and unite female fans so that not only is there a greater support for the club but also so that woman can learn more about the game and enjoy it in a female environment, no matter what level their knowledge of the game is.

Last Wednesday night I attended the soft launch for Ladies At Sydney Swans, otherwise known as L@SS, where Swans tragic and decorated Journalist Geraldine Doogue OA acted as MC to talk us through what L@SS would mean for female fans of the Sydney Swans.

Along with Geraldine, we were spoken to by former journalist Jenny McAsey who has taken over the role as General Manager of Communications at the Sydney Swans, Development Coach and Former Swans Captain, Stewart Maxfield and Lynn Ralph who has been on the board of the AFL Commission Pty Ltd and is overseeing L@SS.

They each spoke of their different involvement at the Sydney Swans and why female supporters are so important.

What L@SS will do over the next season (and the ones after that) is provide a group where ladies can get together in a social environment to enjoy the game both during, after and outside of it (such as the ladies lunch and other events) and feel free to ask questions and gain knowledge for those who aren't as familiar with how it works.

There will also be fundraising initiatives for the Swans' charity of choice which helps paediatric oncology wards through Red Kite. This is as well as a knitting scheme which the ladies are hard at work at right now to help out Wraps for Love by knitting red and white squares to be sewn into blankets for women in under-developed countries.

As it stands, 40% of Swans' members are females. When you think about it, that's quite a high number considering the sporting world is so male-dominated.
However, there's no reason why it can't be a fairer or even higher percentage than male members, so what better time to get involved?

Look, I know the Swans lost to St Kilda on the weekend, but it was by a measly 8 points. For those of you who aren't fans (yet) consider this- the Saints were runners up for the Premiership in '09 and the Swans didn't even make the top 8 so that's a bloody good effort.

To become a member of L@SS at this point you need to be a Swans member. Memberships start at $60.00 for an adult membership and details can be found at www.sydneyswans.com.au after that, the L@SS membership is $50.00 per year and will include invites to special L@SS events, a specially designed red hat (I've seen it. It's cute. Huzzah for a female-oriented hat instead of a run of the mill baseball cap!) and regular updates throughout the year.

Another reason to become a member of the Swans? During the footy season you'll be seeing me post alot more about them so you may as well get on board so you know what the hell I'm on about!

To become a member of L@SS be sure to become a member of the Sydney Swans and then print out the form below (click to make it proper size) and send it in to get started!


Also have a look at some of the pics from the launch- see Cyggie's new scarf getting knitted in time for the first home game on April 10th against Richmond.

What it's all about...

Geraldine Dougge OA (left) Jenny McAsey, Geraldine Dougge OA & Stewart Maxfield

 Cyggie, the team mascot's, new scarf

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