Kayannie Denigan has big plans for Belnorth Football Club in 2022 as she looks to continue her success at the club as President.
Denigan came to the club in 2018, looking for a new club to be her home after her friend recommended joining. Through the 2020 season, when their women’s teams struggled, Denigan stepped up and played for two teams throughout the season as the club struggled to field numbers for games.
“In 2020, it was quite a challenging year with COVID-19. We were just about to start the season and football got postponed, and then we came back a bit later,” Denigan commented.
“It was tough that year, it seems so long ago now, but really it wasn’t. But the most challenging thing was all our teams struggled for numbers. A lot of players were playing two games a weekend.”
After fighting through one of the toughest years for football in Canberra, Denigan was nominated for Belnorth’s female footballer of the year as she played almost every game for two teams throughout the 2020 season.
“For me, I played for my team on Sunday at 10, and then backed up at 12 to play for the division up because teams were that desperate for numbers. I think that’s why I was nominated for female player of the year in 2020. I know I wasn’t the only person to do it but I think I played every single game for both of those teams in 2020.”
After winning the award, Denigan stepped up to the role she is in now, President of Belnorth Football Club. Her main goal is to make sure the members of Belnorth have a fun and successful season in 2022.
One of the first decisions made by Belnorth, under Denigan’s leadership was appointing Esperance Anderson as Technical Director of the club.
“Esperance is a young woman who is amazing. She has played for Belnorth, she has coached for Belnorth, she’s gone off and done her coaching qualifications and now she is back as the Technical Director of Belnorth and is hoping to set us on the right path in our footballing and coaching world. I think that is a big achievement, to have the first female TD of Belnorth.”
Belnorth is proud that both the junior and senior sides of the club and always have large numbers of female footballers. This is one of the reasons that Denigan joined the club, as there was a big emphasis on getting girls and women on board and playing football.
“For as long as I’ve been involved, we have always had women and girls playing football as a big priority. It was one of the things that attracted me to the club and has made me stay with the club. Since 2016, we have run a U6/7 and U89 competitions for girls, and they are very popular.
“We always have at least three senior women’s teams too, and I think that is something that we are really proud of. We are proud to support women and girls in football.”
Belnorth is one of the biggest clubs in Canberra, with more than a thousand players and teams in every age group, they continue to get young kids playing football and make sure to have teams for older players returning too.
Denigan has a passion for football, although growing up in Cairns, and is driving Belnorth to a new level and making sure that everyone has a chance to play football, no matter their age, gender, or ability.
This is what Canberra football needs, and with people like Kayannie Denigan leading the way, there’s no telling what the future holds for Belnorth and Canberra football.
Words: Matthew Williams