#ToTheFront: AFL Women’s

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With the exhibition match peaking with over 1 million viewers, there is much support and excitement for a new league.

 

In the past weeks the AFL Women’s league has been gaining much attention. At the beginning of September there was an exhibition match featuring the top female AFL players. With 6,000 people attending at a national television viewership of 746k nationally, the exhibition match was received well.

The exhibition match was held to demonstrate female talent in AFL and to promote the new women’s league that will be running in the 2017 season. This new mainstream league for women in sports will be a big step forward in terms of gender representation in sport, and the broadcasting of gender in sport.

With the new leagues logo being released last week and the discussion of contracts and finances in play the preseason is well underway to commence in October 2016. Recently though, news outlets have been stating the payments details of the women’s league which is considerably lower than most professional female leagues, and far less then male sports in Australia.

Top ranked players will receive between $10,00 and $25,000 for the eight-week season, while the standard player will receive $5,000. Additionally, statements have been made that contractually the athletes in the league will need to pay for their own insurance.

Payment is extremely low for the first season. Articles draw comparisons to other profession sports in Australia and their salaries, however, the comparison is based off of the standard of the sport at present rather than when their leagues were created. Any new league or even sports team is a potential financial gamble, the estimated $1.6 million being put into the AFL women’s league will hopefully be enough to create a supportive following.

Another of women playing contact football sports was the Women’s Rugby 7’s in the Olympics. The Olympics is a high profile platform to showcase a wide range of sports, with a diverse representation of people. In essence the Olympics is an exhibition of sport. Australia’s Female rugby 7’s team took at gold, and were heavily aired throughout Australia.

 

The AFL Women’s league is a great opportunity to show more equality in Australian sport and enhance the culture of a football loving country. Many sports have the stigma of a male dominated atmosphere that discourages females from even wanting to participate. This league will hopefully encourage a new generation of female athletes who feel that their gender is properly represented in any sport.

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