Today as part of our Female Football Week we would like to highlight and acknowledge Cath Chard who is the MiniRoos Coordinator and Committee Member for the Unanderra Hearts Football Club.
Cath Chard is currently a Committee Member for the Unanderra Hearts Football Club in which she has been involved with since her first son joined the club back in 2008.
Over the last 5 years, Cath and her sons have coached several girl’s teams, helping them develop new skills and introducing them to a new era of females in football. Overall, her involvement within the club has been ongoing for 15 years.
Cath is also the MiniRoos Coordinator, where her role has been to encourage female football participation and help combine and create a girls’ team within the MiniRoo’s age group.
“Our Treasurer Luigi, coordinates and works with the graded girls of age’s 12 and above, to help keep our girls interested and to stay in the game,” Chard said.
“To us, the most important thing about playing is making friends and breaking down gender barriers, because girls can play, and they love it.”
Chard has achieved many things for her female teams, including the creation of a video showcasing their girls and their passion for the game. Cath has also tried to secure funding for new female uniforms in the past but has unfortunately been unsuccessful.
“We will continue to try and look for funding for female uniforms because I feel like they definitely need to have access to uniforms of their correct shape and size,” she said.
“Making sure they are comfortable when they play football gives them that extra confidence to succeed and have a go.”
As a female coach, Cath has always put her girl’s first on and off the football pitch. She is always looking for ways to encourage her girl’s, alongside the rest of the committee who also work hard towards empowering all female’s involved in the club to be strong and enthusiastic.
“Football coaching is a very male dominated role and I think as female coach, my approach is much different,” she said.
“I like to make sure my girl’s feel safe but also sensitive to their feelings. Whilst coaching my U6-U8’s girl’s teams, the girls each wore a hot pink bow in their hair as a trademark for all of my players to feel good and play good amongst a great crowd.
“As a club, we want to ensure that we are providing the best support to all female’s and really try to provide an environment that female’s feel comfortable playing football in.”
Female Football Week for Cath has been a great initiative to help raise awareness of the large number of girls that are continuously signing up to play for their club.
The club has now doubled the number of girls playing and now have numerous all girl’s teams involved with the Football South Coast competitions.
“We have over 100 female players registered this is, which is an amazing achievement for such a small club,” she said.
“This Saturday morning during our MiniRoos game, we will be creating a video acknowledging Female Football Week, specifically to celebrate our girls.
“We are just so proud of our club’s commitment in enabling more females to play and we will continue to support initiatives like this, so that all female’s get the opportunity to play in such a beautiful game.”