Female Football Week celebrations were well and truly in flight at Russell Vale on Sunday as the club's junior and senior girls teams all played together on the same day.
The South Coast football community came together over the weekend to celebrate the growth of the women's game in a special event, with approximately 260 females competing at Cawley Park on Sunday.
In celebration of Female Football Week, Russell Vale FC hosted a full schedule of female matches from juniors to seniors.
Russell Vale's female co-coordinator Dona Ward said that the day was a massive success and she was proud to see a number of females enjoying their football.
"The kids were all having a good time. It had a really good vibe to it and it was great to see some many female teams down there," she said.
"I've never seen that many supporters for girls games before. All the players were stoked.
"We had some donations of giveaways so all the girls walked away with lots of free food. So they were just really happy and it was great to just have the juniors playing alongside the seniors at the same time."
Female Football Week is a nationwide initiative that recognises the rise of women's football and promotes the important role women play in the sport. It also aims to get more girls and women involved in the game.
After the inaugural year of running the initiative, Ward added that it would be something that the club would continue to run.
"We will look to do it every year now," she said.
"That's the first time we've run it as a club, so definitely we're looking at it being an annual event. It normally doesn't happen [everyone playing on the same day] because the juniors play on a Saturday and the seniors play on a Sunday.
"So it was kind of the first that that's happened and really good for the younger girls to be able to watch the older girls and vice versa. So it was great to have the women's teams down there in the barbecue and and the senior teams supporting the junior girls as well.
"At Russell Vale, we've kind of pioneered ourselves as having a very strong and supportive female culture. I don't think there's many other clubs around the Illawarra doing things over the course of the week and certainly many of the other clubs that attended that were our opponents were really surprised and gave really positive feedback on the day," Ward added.
The club is continuing to grow its female base, with the seniors adding a second team just this season and 45 per cent of its juniors are girls.
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