To celebrate International Women’s Day we are profiling inspiring females within our football community – meet Kylie Chambers, Turramurra United Club President!
Why did you first get involved with volunteering at your club?
I had been playing for 2 years with Bannockburn Rovers before we merged to form Turramurra United (TUFC) and my daughter commenced in U8 playing mixed. She enjoyed the sport, but was hesitant to continue playing mixed. I had promised her she would play in a girls team the next season, knowing it may be an uphill battle to get our own girls team for her age group. I spoke to some committee members and at the time there was no dedicated person for girls football- at the AGM later that year, I became the girls coordinator of Bannockburn Rovers. This role has expanded and progressed with the merged club, with two coordinators now plus myself still doing W35 and DL coordination as club president.
Why did you decide to become TUFC Club President? Can you share a highlight you have experienced in the role?
When TUFC merged, my focus was to grow girls football in the club to provide opportunities for all female players and avoid losing players to other clubs due to the lack of depth. I also just became more involved in the committee. Mark Bendall, our ex-President, had expressed a desire to move on, having children who had almost finished school. We had also had more involvement from WAA players in the committee, so I felt the female side was well covered and embedded in the club.
I became president for 2020, so the fact we even were able to play last year was a highlight, given COVID. My big highlight was all of our development programs coming together in 2020 for a successful year. This involved a major partnership with the NSFA’s XLR8 coaching program and a successful partnership with KPFC in our joint venture to provide the opportunity for both club’s junior girls to play football at the right level – all our teams are joint and it is thanks to the effort put in from both clubs. The friendships and progress the club has made with the development program and the combined Diamond League program is worth its weight in gold.
From your experience can you explain the impact female coaches have on players/teams?
Having female coaches, particular ones in early adulthood, just changes the whole dynamic of female football. There is an empathy and appreciation for how girls develop and female coaches provide fantastic role models for our young female players. It changes the dialogue that has traditionally been “which dad is going to coach” and reinforces that the junior players can be whatever they choose to be. The feedback from the parents of our joint venture in Diamond League was all about the way the coaches worked with girls and what they got out of it.
How can we get more female leaders involved in the game? Why do you think this is important?
I think there is the talent in the cohort of parent volunteers and juniors girls coming through that will naturally increase the number of female leaders, but this needs to be assisted by providing any opportunities to learn more about the game, whether it is assisting a female coach, developing a new role as a committee to cater to the skill set. There needs to be a proactive approach to capturing the skills sets of our female players and volunteers to allow them to lead.
Can you share what #ChooseToChallenge means to you?
The choose to challenge theme is about treating everyone equally and calling about any type of behaviour that contradicts this. It is about reinforcing that everyone has a right to challenge any type of disrespect and negative behaviour and promotion of all female achievements, in particular those which have overcome gender bias.
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
The #IWD2021 campaign theme is #ChooseToChallengeA challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.
We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
Female football in NSFA is proudly supported by Harvey Norman.