What a beaut weekend. For the first time in what seems a long time, I was commitment free. I got to walk around my neighbourhood enjoying the fresh air and blue skies of winter in sunny Perth. Thinking about why I felt an extra pep in my step, I realised it was more than just decent sleep and a leisurely breakfast. Sure, there’s a lot to be said for free time but this weekend it really dawned on me that I don’t sit with newspapers and coffee anymore.
I’ve loved newspapers forever, so I was kinda surprised when I thought about it. It’s partly because this is a fundamentally one paper town but mostly because I take my flat white with my twitter feed and my pick of The Guardian or Wisden Cricket Weekly. And if I’m alone, I listen to the radio or a podcast or a footy match via my smart phone.
I rarely watch the footy with the TV volume unmuted. Even Friday Night Footy. Friday’s was a cracking game but I was also keeping an eye on the NRL Women’s State of Origin at the North Sydney Oval. I enjoyed the build-up to the game (of a code I know relatively little about) through the relentless enthusiasm of Mary Konstantopolous (The Roar and Ladies Who League). I could relate to her excitement because it wasn’t that long ago that the AFLW launched and … well, who needs an excuse to get excited about sport? The game between New South Wales and Queensland is not new (it has been previously called the Interstate Challenge) but the significance of the clash being the stand alone State of Origin was not lost on me.
I was thrilled for all involved that the game was well attended and appreciated by a decent TV audience. I smiled at happy snaps on social media and was delighted by the overwhelmingly positive response to the post-match kiss between opposition players Vanessa Foliaki and Karina Brown.
I think that’s one of the reasons I had that pep in my step this weekend. A sporting public display of affection had been noted by the NRL and shared accordingly. Not with an apology or a justification, just shared. And supported by footy fans of all stripes across the nation. Smiling thumbs up emojis for all!
Just a couple of weekends ago the Chicks Talking Footy team broadcast from the third AFL Pride Game between St Kilda and Sydney, and while we’re yet to have a close game on those special nights, we are getting closer to a LGBTIQ supporter group at every club of the national comp. Thankfully CTF didn’t call the lopsided game, instead we chatted with fans, footballers, advocates and agitators. I was especially excited to chat with Fremantle AFLW stars Kara Donnellan & Ebony Antonio. Such champs. Engaged and engaging. You can listen here
I’ve enjoyed watching the Swan Districts women play this year and although I am a rusted on Fremantle Docker and East Fremantle supporter, Swans let me MC the Club jumper launch in April. I could say it was the first time I’ve done something like that but really … I didn’t have to do much. Swan Districts is a great club: it looks after its people, the V Swans program is brilliant, Juddy is the seniors skipper and head coach is Nicole Graves. Well, Gravesy was head coach but has just been appointed General Manager of Women’s Football at Carlton. Lucky Blues. Swan Districts won all three grades in the WAWFL last year. Just sayin’.
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Congratulations @gravesy2012 on your appointment to the @carlton_fc as General Manager Women’s Football!! “ Love your work “ @aflwomens @wafooty @femalefootywa @changehergame @sheplayswewin @swandistrictswomensfootball @swandistrictsfc @swansdistrict @vswans @kdjudd15 @ebonyantonio12 #aflwomens #aflw
But back to this weekend. This blissful, sunny bruise-free weekend. I trust the Reclink Community Cup was a huge success in Melbourne. We play them in Perth too now. The Newshounds will take on the Bandgropers in September. Here’s a pic from last year’s game, just to prove that Darcy Vescio is loved everywhere.
Also, this is me and Tim Rogers at the Perth Festival Writers Weekend. I’m yet to convince Tim he should play on the Newshounds team but he mentioned something about how $20 and a carton of been might seal the deal so we’ll see.