Girls don’t play football. It is aggressive, dirty and very violent. Girls are gentle, elegant and very, very fragile. Wrong! It is time to change these stupid stereotypes and give girls all the opportunities that boys have. Girls play football and the Fitzroy Junior Football club has decided to move with the times and from this season there are three girls team at FJC. Go girls!
Sofia jumped at this opportunity and joined the under 18 team. I was so proud of her and so excited that she was given the opportunity to be part of the change. My daughter, pioneer in girls’ football!
I arrived late to the first game and I missed one of the girls being tackled to the ground and taken to hospital with concussion. All of a sudden it didn’t seem like such a good idea and when I saw Sofia my advice was: if you get the ball, pass it immediately. Do not hold the ball!
Sofia gave me a disgusted look and told me not to come to her games again.
Ok, I had a little bit of adjustment to do. Pioneering was never going to be easy.
I followed Sofia’s advice and did not go to the next game, but I couldn’t stay away and two weeks later I was back for more, filled with positive thoughts.
Football is a winter game and there was always going to be mud. That sunday it was unseasonably cold and wet for April and there was a gigantic mud pit in the middle of the oval. Boys were playing and they naturally avoided the mud. Very skilled, I thought.
The girls played a fantastic game even though they did not score one single goal. There were no injuries (certainly a bonus!) and lots of smiling faces. Some of the girls did not manage to avoid the puddle and there was a bit of mud here and there. It was at the end of the game the real mud battle started. Slowly at first, a little bit of mud smeared on a leg or an arm…before we knew it both teams ran to the puddle, jumped in the puddle and literally swam in the puddle. It was cold and miserable but those girls did not care, they were having some primal fun and no electronic device was involved!
It was such a pleasure to watch them. I stood with another mother and we laughed at their silliness. They ran to the changing rooms and showered in their clothes. There were lots of giggles and a feeling of genuine harmony between the girls and for a moment I forgot about tackling, concussions and broken bones and I just enjoyed the atmosphere of joy.
I’ll keep this memory close and bring it out when needed as a little tool to help me endure the rest of the football season!