Following the inspiring performance of the CommBank Matildas at the most successful FIFA Women’s World CupTM, and as the team continue their preparation to tackle their final Olympic Qualifier on 1 November, CommBank Matildas captain Sam Kerr, and fellow Matildas Lydia Williams and Charlotte Grant joined Commonwealth Bank and Football Australia in Perth to launch the Growing Football Fund.
As a proud supporter of football since 2021, from grassroots through to the elite, CommBank is extending its partnership with Football Australia to support the launch of a new community fund, with the ambition to empower, support and encourage women and girls across the nation to take part in the game. The fund is part of CommBank’s partnership with Football Australia as naming rights partner of the CommBank Matildas
The fund will focus on supporting coaches and community teams across the country with the ambitious goal of attracting and retaining 50,000 female participants nationally over the next two years. Core to the retention of female players is the support and professional development opportunities for new and existing coaches working with women and girls in football. By providing access to quality coaching designed specifically for women and girls, the program will help to create a more inclusive and supportive sporting landscape, where players can thrive.
A dedicated online Coaches Hub will play a critical role in supporting coaches with scholarships, resources, technical training, and state-based networking. In addition, community teams, clubs and associations will receive grants of up to $5,000 in year one to support key initiatives for women and girls in football.
At the launch, Commonwealth Bank Group Executive of Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Monique Macleod, said the fund will help support the coaches and players of tomorrow.
“This is such an exciting time for football in Australia, and in particular the women’s game. After winning the hearts of the nation during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, our CommBank Matildas have shown the world how incredible Australian sport is. As major supporters of women’s sport, we are delighted to extend our partnership with Football Australia with the launch of the Growing Football Fund which will help change the game in Australia.
“Grassroots sport empowers communities – it is where children grow up, family and friends come together, and dreams are realised. This should be strengthened and preserved for future generations. Commonwealth Bank is thrilled to be a part of building a brighter future for all Australians in this way.
”We are looking forward to bringing this to life with our partners at Football Australia in our joint quest to support and bolster the CommBank Matildas of tomorrow, and support the education of world-class coaching and clubs across the nation,” Ms Macleod said.
Football Australia Head of Women’s Football, Women’s World Cup Legacy & Inclusion, Sarah Walsh said the Fund is an exciting next step in Football Australia’s partnership with CommBank.
“There has never been a greater awareness and interest in women’s football in Australia, particularly at the grassroots level. With a shared goal of attracting and retaining more women and girls in football we are incredibly excited to partner with CommBank to launch the Growing Football Fund.
“This important initiative will provide hundreds of community clubs across the country with access to funding to ensure that together we maximise the interest off the back of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023. Critical to sustainable growth in participation is support for our coaches of women and girls, to create greater accessibility to training, more pathways and ongoing support to foster a positive environment where all players can thrive.”
Sam Kerr, Captain of the CommBank Matildas and CommBank Ambassador said the transformative impact of this investment on grassroots football will be game-changing.
“We have seen what is possible when you invest in women and girls and provide them with the opportunity to fulfill their potential. We want this transformative experience for women and girls at all levels of football. “I am excited to see how the Growing Football Fund will be able to support clubs to increase the access to football for women and girls whether they are playing or coaching the next generation.”
The Growing Football Fund commits to the following over two years:
- Multi-million dollar commitment to support grassroots football in Australia
- Attract and retain 50,000 female participants over two years
- Distribution of community grants up to $5,000 to community clubs across Australia to fund activities that develop and promote women and girls’ football
- Introduction of a new, state-based network of female coaches for peer-to-peer support
- Provide access to C/B Diplomas for coaches of women and girls through scholarships
- The creation of high-quality resources to support the development of women and girls’ football in Australia