What's so great about AFLW? Apart from free entry, cheaper pies, and the fact that you can run onto the field and have a kick at the end of the match?
The AFLW has resuscitated the ailing suburban heart of Australian Rules football – pumping the stands of neglected neighbourhood ovals with boisterous fans of all ages and introducing Australians to a whole new raft of outstanding young athletes.
But the league is maturing and professionalising. As more matches are broadcast, as brands wise up to the sponsorship potential of the league, and as competition (both for draft picks and for the flag itself) intensifies, is the community spirit of the league at risk?
At our annual AFLW Season Wrap, our panel will discuss all the thrills and spills of the season that was, preview the 2019 finals series, and look at the changing tenor of the game.
Kate O'Halloran is a freelance sports journalist and host of AFLW radio show 'Kick Like a Girl' on RRR 102.7FM. She was formerly Deputy Sports Editor at the Guardian and now writes for the ABC, Crikey and the Saturday Paper as well as regularly appearing on News Breakfast on the ABC. She has a PhD in Gender Studies and is passionate about gender equity, LGBTI inclusion and other social justice issues in sport.
Kirby Fenwick is a writer and audio producer and a co-host of the podcast, Literary Canon Ball. She is also a passionate fan of women’s football. Kirby has written for the Guardian, Eureka Street and Melbourne City of Literature, among others, and produces a weekly segment called ‘Voices From The Stands’ for Triple R’s Kick Like A Girl AFLW show. Her audio documentary, The First Friday in February, which tells the story of the first AFLW game, won the 2018 Oral History Victoria Award.
Nicole Hayes is an award winning author and podcaster, and part of the The Outer Sanctum podcast. She has written non-fiction and fiction about footy, including The Whole of My World, a Young Adult #MeToo AFL novel; and both From the Outer: Footy Like You’ve Never Heard It (2016) and A Footy Girl’s Guide to the Stars of 2017, in collaboration with Alicia Sometimes. This year, Nicole and co-writer Adrian Beck will launch a new kids’ footy fiction series, called Little Legends. She spends way too much time shouting at the Hawks on the telly, but you’d know that if you followed her on Twitter.