Hilary is the Vice-President of the NSFA Board and a long-serving committee member at Gordon SC.
Why did you first get involved in football?
My son Graeme started playing football with his mates in Under 7s at Lindfield Football Club. I am not very good at sitting still and chatting to people, so I decided to get involved and become a manager. When he moved to Gordon Soccer Club (GSC) in 2009, I joined the committee a year later and the NSFA Board in 2016.
What is an area of passion for you within football?
One area of passion is to get the kids out on the field, having fun, improving their skills and learning to play football together as a team, rather than a group of individuals.
As Senior Team Co-ordinator at Gordon Soccer Club I have also enjoyed being a positive female role model for the Men’s All Age teams and previously some Women’s All Age teams, mentoring them, setting boundaries from time to time, yet supporting them, both with their football journeys, as well as their careers. I am really proud that the current and former GSC Presidents, as well as a GSC Committee Member, play in these teams.
2021 NSFA Board (left to right): Luke Dawson, Mick Da Silva, Simon Cox, Lee Sullivan, Jacinta Martin, Sarah Jenkins, Dr Ian Plant.
Can you tell us a little about Sustainable Sports Program and why you believe it is important?
I feel strongly about recycling, including soft plastics, glass and plastic bottles and have spent many evenings at Allan Small Oval (Saiala) collecting bottles to recycle them after games, so that they don’t go into landfill.
When Ed introduced me to Liz Courtney and Linda Curtis and they told me about the Sustainable Sports Program and their Northbridge pilot, I saw it as a great opportunity to roll the program across the NSFA and give the Youth Ambassadors an opportunity to make a positive difference for their futures.
I am really excited that our Youth Ambassadors have grown to 45 now and will be actively promoting activities for the program within their clubs from next week onwards.
With the Football NSW (FNSW) CEO, Stuart Hodge, FNSW Board Member, Stephanie Brantz and Donna Greenfield from Ku-ring Gai Council attending the Sustainable Sports Program launch with Federal MP Trent Zimmerman, who provided the original funding, we are hopeful the program can be rolled out across football in NSW.
How do we empower more females to take up leadership positions in the Association?
It is encouraging to see an increase in the number of women on club committees and as presidents of NSFA clubs and hopefully this will continue to increase. I really appreciate having Sarah Jenkins and Jacinta Martin on the NSFA Board, as I believe we all bring different perspectives and contribute to well-rounded conversations and decisions about issues and opportunities.
I strongly recommend our NSFA girls and women embrace opportunities to become better players, coaches, managers, referees, as well as contributing to your clubs by taking leadership positions, as this will give you an opportunity to broaden your own experiences, meet some great people, put back into your communities, be a role model and encourage younger players, show leadership and influence behaviours on and off the field.
What has kept you involved now your son has stopped playing?
At NSFA, we are lucky to have a stable, experienced Board and the passion of Ed and his whole team and as a result we are one of the most innovative associations in football in Australia. We are well regarded in Football NSW and continue to be a strong voice for grassroots football.
I would like to support building the Home of Football over the next few years, as I think this will be a fantastic facility for NSFA and will result in further growth in the Association.
How to you see the female game growing with the announcement of hosting 2023 Women’s World Cup?
It is great to see so many female players participating in NSFA’s Female Football Week.
I think the female game will go from strength to strength, as we get more girls and women playing, in the lead-up to and during the Women’s World Cup in 2023.
Featured image: Hilary Bingham with Trent Zimmerman (North Sydney MP) and St Ives FC youth ambassadors for the Sustainable Sports Program.
Those wishing to find out more about the SSP in NSFA can contact Hilary Bingham by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.