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Searle nominated for prestigious award

DEVELOPMENT coach Peta Searle has been nominated for the 2014 Football Woman of the Year Award.

 

Presented at the Grand Final Comedy Debate, the award recognises the significant contribution and impact women have had on the game.


Searle made history this year after becoming the first female to hold a coaching position at AFL level.

 

Working with St Kilda’s young up and coming players throughout the season, she played a role in the Saints’ VFL affiliate side, Sandringham, recording its first finals win since 2006 despite losing to Port Melbourne in the semi-finals.

 

This year’s Football Woman of the Year Award, run by the Essendon Women’s Network, will feature two categories including the Professional category in which Peta Searle is nominated and an Honorary category, with another important Saint recognised for her commitment.


Barbara Datson, the President of St Kilda’s womens’ group the Angels, has been nominated for her selfless devotion to the football club.

 

The positive achievements of young women in the industry will also be recognised with the establishment of an Emerging Leader Award.

  

Essendon Women’s Network chair Jane Grover said the Grand Final Comedy Debate has grown into one of the marquee events of Grand Final week.

 

“I’m delighted to announce the Football Woman of the Year Award has expanded to recognise the incredible work women are doing across Australian Rules football,” Grover said.

 

“The Football Woman of the Year Award is a significant announcement in AFL Grand Final week and a fantastic way to celebrate the achievements of these talented women who help grow and nurture the game from the grass roots level to the elite level of AFL.”

 

To purchase tickets to the Grand Final Comedy Debate on Thursday 25 September, click here.

 

The following women have been nominated for the 2014 awards:

 

Professional Category
Danielle Bleazby:
Currently in her ninth season as Events and Special Projects Manager at the Australian Football League. Danielle is also an integral member of the AFL strategy team.

Peta Searle: Peta made history after becoming the first female AFL assistant coach after being appointed development coach at St Kilda Football Club.

 

Tanya Gallina: Tanya has been employed in the Australian Rules football industry for over 14 years. Tanya currently holds the position of General Manager – Consumer Services and Tasmania, at Hawthorn Football Club.

 

Honourary Category
Barbara Datson: Barbara has been involved with The Angels of the St Kilda Football Club since 1995 and President since 2006. The Angels’ principle goal is to support the community and in turn the football club.

 

Anissa Groves: Anissa has been a Western Bulldogs' trainer for 18 years, and in 2008 became the first female head trainer in the AFL.

 

Colleen Rogers: Colleen was elected President of the Marong Football Netball Club in 2008.  Colleen played a pivotal role in instigating the amalgamation of the Loddon Valley Football League and the Loddon Valley Netball Association.

 

Narelle Smith: Narelle is the current President of Football League and the SouthSouth Australian Women’s Football League. Narelle  played a significiant role in the partnership between the South Australian Womens Australian Amateur Football League, establishing greater resources for Women’s Football.

 

Emerging Leader Award
Alicia Eva:
Alicia is an exemplary leader and her love of coaching and natural ability to inspire and teach footballers landed her a spot as assistant coach of the Victorian Youth Girls representative team.

 

Chelsea Randall: Chelsea captained the WA Women's State Team in the 2013 AFL Women's National Championship. Chelsea is the main ambassador for Female football in WA and is the full time development officer for AFL in the Swans District. 

 

Nadine Rabah: Nadine Rabah is a Lebanese Muslim and has long been a trail blazer in Australian football. Nadine is a freelance journalist and has written a novel ‘Jaiyana: best and Fairest’, the story of a young Muslim girl who plays football.

 

An independent panel including Alisa Camplin – Director, Collingwood Football Club, Rosie King – General Manager of People and Culture, Geelong Football Club, and Emma Quayle – Senior Journalist at the Age newspaper, will select the winners based on the selection criteria detailed below.

 

Selection Criteria for the Football Woman of the Year Award

The recipient will have demonstrated:

1. Commitment to the support and advancement of Australian Rules football

2. A passion for the game

3. A keen knowledge of the game, including its history and future

4. The ability to make a difference on the football scene

5. A willingness to publicly advocate the important role that women play in football

6. Have a current year football club membership

7. A mentor role for other women in Australian Football

8. A sense of humour and fair play

 

Selection Criteria for the Emerging Leader Award

The recipient will have demonstrated:

1. Commitment to the support and advancement of Australian Rules football

2. A passion for the game

3. A keen knowledge of the game, including its history and future

4. A willingness to make a difference on the football scene

5. Commitment to the initiatives that emphasise the important role women play in football

6. Have a current year football club membership

7. A sense of humour and fair play

8. Be aged at 25 years or under, as at 6th of June 2014

 

Past winners of the Football Woman of the Year Award include: Irene Chatfield (1998), Jill Lindsay (1999), Caroline Wilson (2000), Katrina Pressley (2001), Beverly Knight and Bev O’Connor (2002), Jenny Williams (2003), Edna Daniher (2004), Jennie Loughnan (2005), Barb Cullen (2006), Terry Bracks (2007), Susan Alberti (2008), Debbie Lee (2009), Anna Durante (2010), Lesley McGrath (2011), Belinda Duarte (2012) and Michelle Cowan (2013).