Anthony Forby: Westfield Local Heroes 2018
Anthony gets a buzz out of making football female-friendly
All too often football is a spectator sport for girls. But that’s something SMOSH West Lakes Junior Football Club is working hard to change.
The club is already kicking goals. Under the directorship of volunteer Anthony Forby, its girls’ academy has grown from one football team in 2016 to six teams. “I’m a true believer that girls can play and do anything that men can do,” says Anthony, who has an infectious love of football. “If girls can play soccer and hockey and basketball why can’t they play football?”
That belief is rubbing off. The club’s program now includes 113 female footballers, eight coaches and a team of volunteers.
For Anthony, the first year delivered an undisputed highlight. “Of the 24 girls I had in my squad maybe three or four had experienced some type of football. The rest of them were ballet dancers, ballroom dancers, basketball players, soccer players or gymnasts,” he says.
The team went on to win the grand final against a well-established team. “It wasn’t something you’d ever dream of,” he says.
One girl had never played football before. “Now two years later she is captaining the state under-16 girls’ team. That’s what gives me the buzz.”
Apart from attending all the training sessions and supporting the coaches, Anthony is involved in developing further opportunities for women in football.
He is part of the development and coaching team at The Woodville West Torrens Football Club, which is working to add a female team to the SANFL Women’s League in 2019. Then girls will have a clear pathway beyond junior football.
Anthony says he feels honoured to have been a Westfield Local Hero.
The club is using it's $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant to upgrade their clubrooms in 2020 with a vision to make these more female-friendly.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.