Since 2019, MM Kembla has been a proud sponsor of Football South Coast’s Female Development Programs and are proud to continue our support and association with grass roots women’s football.
As the profile of women’s sport in Australia continues to gain mainstream acknowledgement and efforts made to continue to improve gender progress and professionalise many sports, MM Kembla is proud to support the grass roots development of female football as a major partner of Football South Coast. MM Kembla’s support is focused on female programs largely around youth development and participation in football including:
- Women’s Youth League
- Female Football Gala Day (Ages U6 to U13)
- Female Football Week initiatives
- Women’s Grand Final naming rights
As MM Kembla Marketing Manager Felix Velasco explains, the business has had a longstanding part to play in the growth of the Illawarra & South Coast regions since the inception of the business in 1916:
“Throughout our history, MM Kembla has actively supported the growth of the Illawarra & South Coast and provided opportunities for people of the region. It’s hoped our support of Football South Coast and its Female Development Programs will provide opportunities for the ongoing development of grass roots football in the region, particularly female football.”
One of Football South Coast’s important achievements was the introduction of the Women’s Youth League in 2018. The goal of the league was to establish pathways for female junior football development into senior football, an avenue that has always been present in the male programs. As Football South Coast CEO Ann-Marie Balliana explains, the Women’s Youth League gives young women a clear path to senior football:
“The WYL provides a pathway to senior football for young women of our region that was never there prior. Since its inception, the league is helping to create opportunities for progress into senior football. As an intermediary league, it was important we could provide clear pathways for players to continue their development and participation.”
The inception of an intermediary youth league as well as the increasing focus on female participation and development in football has seen the continued increase in participation and growth of female football in the Illawarra and South Coast regions. For Ann-Marie, increasing participation in the sport is the start of the process, it’s then ensuring there are programs in place to support their love of football:
“Each year Football South Coast facilitates the free “MM Kembla Girls Come & Try” event to encourage girls in the region to play the game for the first time. Not only is it a great opportunity for young female players to try football for the first time, it also helps FSC connect players and parents to their local associations and clubs for further opportunities to participate in football.
With the female programs we have in place, we are now confident that these girls will be provided every opportunity to continue their footballing journey if they choose to do so – right from junior leagues all the way to senior leagues.”
Similar to female football globally, the Illawarra and South Coast region of NSW has embraced the increased focus and development of Female football with open arms. 2022 is set to be another big season with year on year increases in the number of teams in Women competitions as Ann-Marie explains:
“2022 continues our year on year growth of the female competitions. This year we will see close to 60 teams active across the Women’s competitions. With the support of businesses like MM Kembla and our determined focus on female football we will hopefully continue to see growth in our female programs for many years to come.”
To learn more about how you can support or participate in Football South Coast female football programs, visit the Football South Coast website https://footballsouthcoast.com/