Brisbane Roar’s Westfield W-League team were honoured on Wednesday night as inaugural recipients of the Queensland Government’s Sport and Recreation Excellence Award at a function at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Brisbane Roar-s Westfield W-League team were honoured on Wednesday night as inaugural recipients of the Queensland Government-s Sport and Recreation Excellence Award at a function at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Roar W-League coach Belinda Wilson and club Operations Manager Stuart Nixon received the award from the Hon Steve Dickson, Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing, at the Women and Girls in Sport and Recreation Networking Function.
The award acknowledged Roar-s success since the inception of the W-League six years ago, including five grand final appearances – winning two – and two Premiership titles.
Roar-s W-League side has also contributed seven players to the current Matildas squad competing in the AFC Women-s Asian Cup in Vietnam, including team co-captain Clare Polkinghorne.
Wilson said, “It-s fantastic that we-re being acknowledged for the team-s performances over the past six seasons.”
The Roar W-League team, who are currently competing in the National Premier Leagues Queensland, took the evening off training to attend the event.
Wilson said the members of the team currently on national team duty had also taken a strong interest in the award.
“We have a Facebook group page that only our players are allowed (to access) and a lot of those players asked why we are getting the award and I said, ‘As far as I know it-s because we are good,” Wilson laughed.
She added more seriously, “They would have loved to be here and the likes of Clare Polkinghorne, Tameka Butt and Elise Kellond-Knight would-ve have loved to have accepted the award.”
More than 250 sport and business identities attended the evening that acknowledged Roar-s contribution to women in sport and included an open panel discussion about participation and media coverage of women-s sport.
Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop spoke at the event about how the Westfield W-League and Brisbane Roar are creating a successful women-s sport brand in Australia.
Prior to this summer-s W-League season, Roar brought their W-League team in-house after the side was previously administered by Football Queensland.
Gallop said Brisbane Roar are amongst the leaders in Australian professional football for integrating their A-League and W-League brands for the benefit of women-s football and the game in general.
“One of the things about the Roar is that the club does a seamless job of integrating its men-s team with its women-s team,” Gallop explained.
“I saw Clare Polkinghorne in her Roar jersey at the A-League Grand Final, so there-s a nice integration of the two teams at the club.”
Gallop also noted that the Westfield W-League remains a fundamental part of football-s identity and continuing growth in Australia.
“It is a uniquely national competition covered by free-to-air television, so that-s an opportunity to use our players as role models for younger girls thinking of playing football,” Gallop said.
“In many respects it-s about the game itself. It-s a safe and simple game and the girls are very talented athletes so it has appeal for football fans but also general sports fans.”