Country Women's Football Victory for American Students
The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle
American students participating in The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle’s Study Abroad Program (SAP) have been showing regional Western Australia (WA) how it’s really done on the footy field!
With the help of the local South Fremantle Football Club (SFFC) 25 American girls beat experienced Goomalling and Merredin women’s football teams. Not only did they win the first games they ever played, but took out the Country Women’s Carnival Trophy.
The team, who call themselves the Yankeroos, are part of an initiative where all the American students at Notre Dame are given the opportunity to learn Australian Rules Football.
The girls formed their team at the beginning of semester and have been training twice a week with SFFC development officer, Jason Burton, learning the skills and rules of the game.
One of the team’s three captains, Annie George, said learning football has been a great experience for all the students.
“I love playing Aussie football and it was so much fun for all of us to get out there as a team and play an actual game. It was fantastic to play against Australians who have been around footy their whole lives.
“I don’t think anyone, including ourselves, expected us to win. Two of our girls took out awards as well. Jen Fedyna took the award for Fairest and Best and Laura Wolbeck took Most Consistent Player. So it was a really exciting day for our team all round,” said Ms George.
Local businessman, Tony Fairhead, a great supporter of the SAP, ‘kicked off’ the program last year. Its aim was to give the students a chance to get involved in the Fremantle community and provide them with a sense of belonging to something uniquely Australian.
SFFC have also been there for all the Yankeroos since the inaugural 2006 team, providing coaches, club rooms and organising games. Club president Terry Dean said they’re extremely happy to support people from other countries playing Australian Rules Football.
“Our club has a role within the community to help the game grow and promote it where we can. Giving American students an insight into Aussie Rules endorses the game to a different country and culture.
“We have been delighted to help the Yankeroos learn football, especially the girls’ team who are also helping to raise the profile of women’s football,” said Mr Dean.
The girls will continue to train at Fremantle Oval in preparation for their upcoming rematch against the Goomalling women’s football team.
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Saunders, Moira, "Country Women's Football Victory for American Students" (2007). Media Release Archive. 759.