FEMALE soccer had been going from strength to strength on the Mornington Peninsula, until COVID hit in 2020.
Mount Martha Soccer Club is on a mission to encourage the return of females to the sport after two years of disruption.
The club has an opportunity to do so with the Go Soccer Mums program, which was started in 2019 with Football Victoria and VicHealth.
Committee member and recovered stroke sufferer Shelley Christie said the program at Mount Martha was called Women’s Social Soccer – Go Soccer Mums, as it is promoted not just to mothers, but females from all walks of life.
“I am very passionate about this and getting it back up and running for 2022-23 as the World Cup is hitting our shores next year and it will be great to women and girls start playing this wonderful game,” she said.
“I used to play as a girl and stopped … it’s in my family, my uncle played for Scotland.
“I only started again after I had a stroke and heart surgery in 2019 at the age of 45, and the program really helped me get back out there and gain some confidence and help with my rehab.
“I think after all we have been through with covid and the last two years that we really need to help women get back out there, try something new or come back to the game.”
Christie said it was important to support women struggling to do something for themselves or coming back from disease or mental health.
“We are a supportive bunch, I don’t know where I would be today if I didn’t hit that registration button, much to my husband’s dismay,” she said.
Christie said the program uses soccer as the vehicle for “getting out there” and connecting with other women in the peninsula.
“It’s fun, inclusive, a great way to meet new people and stay connected in the community. It doesn’t matter what skill/fitness level you have; we are all different and it’s all about learning and having fun,” she said.
Female Football Week is on until 15 May and the club’s Women’s Social – Go Soccer mums program started back last week on Wednesday nights.
The club is also promoting its gala day for Women’s Football 7s at Civic Reserve, Mount Martha’s home ground on 14 May.
For details on the club and how to be a part of it email Christie at firstname.lastname@example.org