Ladies Gaelic football has become an intricate and important sector in the GAA in Queensland over the years. Although it is still very much a developing area, it has grown from strength to strength over the years and at current, it would be fair to say that the Ladies side of the club's has certainly become a driving force behind these clubs. The ladies who get involved in their respective club teams are extremely dedicated and passionate, both on and off the field and although historically Gaelic Football has been viewed as a male sport, it's fair to say that the Ladies in Queensland have raised the game to a level where it has become every bit as prestigious and competitive as the men's football, a credit to all involved in achieving this. Queensland's ladies have developed a fantastic reputation amongst the Australasian states over the years, from their performances in the Australasian Championship Games, showcasing the abilities our ladies have, and are known to be one of the strongest states involved, testament to the hard work of the members and the dedication and pride exhibited by those who represent the state. But State representation begins at the humble setting of club training. Most clubs return to training between January and February, where the various clubs begin recruiting new blood, and the regulars return to find themselves with new team mates each year. Unlike in Ireland, where you play for your local team and this team is together through underage all the way up to senior, it's a little different here as the "local team" doesn't exist. This creates a problem for the clubs, as recruitment can be very difficult. The pool of possible players depends on how many ladies there are who may be interested in taking up the club, and then which club they decide to join subsequently. With such a selection of excellent club to choose from, it's certainly not an easy decision for any prospective new player. Once they have made the decision to put on the colours of a certain club, they then join the preseason training regime, with the focus being the QLD season opener, The Carpenter Cup, followed by the Queensland League, and the penultimate, knockout Queensland Championship. The season isn't long in comparison to most sports, but the dedication shown, and required, throughout is high.
Although QLD Ladies Gaelic Football is of a very high standard, as mentioned, it is still very much a fluctuating membership. New members are required to be sourced each year for the continued involvement of each club in the competitions. Reaching out to the expat community is vital, but the local community is just as, if not even more, important, for stability. QGFHA have begun to focus on this development of the sport by appointing a Head Of Development for Ladies Football specifically, which has recently led to a fantastic community outreach program in the form of a fun based, Ladies 7 a Side Beach Football Tournament. This social day, which showcased the game for both expats new to the region, but also the local community, enabled new players to sample the sport, in a laid back, Queensland style setting, and was a huge success. Ladies Gaelic Football will certainly be an area that will be focused on strongly to ensure its development, as it is felt this is a critical aspect to the GAA family's continued success as a whole in QLD.
The friendships formed, the bonds created, the enjoyment, the fitness, the healthier lifestyle, and the competing in the greatest sport there is, are just a handful of the benefits of joining a club. Regardless of your skill level, be it complete first timer, or seasoned pro, give it a go. You never know, you might just be the next girl to kick a winning point for the QLD State team, or make the crucial save in a QLD Championship final!
B. Murphy April 2016
Current Brisbane Football Clubs with Ladies Football Teams