The Wollongong Saints could not celebrate their birthday with a victory but everyone associated with the thriving AFL club was a winner last Saturday.
A narrow loss against Sydney AFL women’s division two leaders Southern Power, did not put a damper on the Saints’ fifth birthday celebrations on June 21.
Club president Kat Gow said it would have been good to get the win at North Dalton Park but the Saints had still achieved a lot in its short history.
‘‘The weekend was a celebration of all past and present club members, but also a celebration of the bright future the club has ahead,’’ she said.
‘‘This season has been a good one for us on the field. Our only two losses have been against the Power, who are leading the league.’’
Gow said the Saints also took the opportunity to highlight and celebrate the increased rate of women’s participation in club sport.
She said the club itself had gone from strength to strength since forming in 2010.
‘‘We have had over 75 members, from a variety of age groups and diverse assortment of ethnicity,’’ Gow said.
‘‘We have probably got 30 to 40 current players which is great, considering previous years we’ve had to forfeit some games due to lack of numbers.
‘‘At this point of time participation is on the rise even though the youth girls competition has fallen through.
‘‘Certainly there is a strong push nationally for a national women’s competition from 2020. Locally we are still getting registrations now and we are 10 weeks into the competition, so there are always women finding out about us and signing up, which is good.’’
Winning the 2012 division two grand final is a highlight for the Saints, who appreciate their long-term sponsorship from Wiseman Park Bowling Club.
‘‘Girls making representative sides and our partnership with the Illawarra Lions are other highlights,’’ Gow said.