Following the launch of #FemaleFootballWeek we catch up with Kerryn Constable, who is representative of the people powering grassroots football.
At the heart and soul of every football club and association around Australia there is a network of volunteers whom the organisations could not survive without.
They are the people who process the registrations, who book the fields and manage the draw.
They organise fundraising, make sure players are insured, run training sessions and maybe even hand out an orange or two at half-time.
Their work often goes unnoticed and unrewarded but without them there simply is no game on the weekend.
For the Bega Devils FC and Far South Coast FA one of these people is Kerryn Constable.
Kerryn is secretary of both her club and her association and somehow also manages to play in the competition’s open women’s division.
Her football journey began 12 years ago when the Constable family re-located to the south-east NSW town of Bega.
One of the first things they did to help immerse themselves in their new community was to join the local football club.
While they were welcomed with open arms Kerryn was surprised at the lack of females present at club meetings and immediately set about making her mark.
“Any female with passion for their sport or club can contribute in some way,” insists Kerryn.
“Gone are the days of females ‘just running the canteen’ or ‘transporting their kids to the games’.
“There lies opportunities on committees, helping with fundraising or coaching a team.”
While Kerryn has enjoyed getting to spend time with her family in a relaxed, competitive environment she also acknowledges the personal growth taking on added responsibly has helped her achieve.
“I have definitely become more assertive as a result of fulfilling an administrative role,” said Kerryn.
“Chairing a meeting at club level is one thing but at an association level would have terrified me ten years ago.
“I have developed confidence in my ability to lead, organise and fundraise and feel I have grown as a person. I know I have.”
Kerryn’s work has inspired her daughter to also get involved with the Devils’ committee and all of her family has remained involved in football.
Not content with her tireless work on the sidelines Kerryn has also started playing the game she loves, proving you’re never too old to get involved.
“I would have to say that starting to play myself is something that I never thought I would do but has been a real highlight – at 40 I began.
“The ages in the team vary somewhat but they’re all incredibly encouraging and I love that I get to play on a team with both of my daughters.”