Liz Osbourne was nominated by South Canberra FC for Female Football Week following her dedication on the committee, inclusiveness of all and her hard work, making her a backbone of the club.
South Canberra FC is the first all-female football club and has been running for two years after Kathryn Yuile and Emma Steel came together to make the dream come true.
Liz was a part of this journey since day one as she was part of the founding committee, lending a helping hand by assisting with the kits, getting quotes, and finding sponsorships for the club’s establishment.
Liz feels overjoyed to be a part of such an inclusive club that embraces women. She says she has never been a part of anything so special.
“There is so much enthusiasm for this club and what it represents and its values, it’s just amazing. I love coming here, I love dealing with the girls, and it’s so enjoyable,” Liz said.
A big passion for Liz is the Women’s Master’s League in which she plays and manages for South Canberra. She loves the promise surrounding the league and the pathway it presents to the younger generations to ensure they know it exists for their later years.
Two years ago, there was not a sufficient number of teams for the Women’s Master League to run resulting in these teams having to return to State League. Liz says that this presents challenges by playing younger women that are not on the same physical level.
“I just think we have to know that we have somewhere to go. If you’re doing a sport, you love and you want to keep playing, just because you get old shouldn’t stop you. So, to have a Masters League is important to me,” Liz said.
“Our bodies are different when we’re older and you think more carefully because when you get injured you take longer to recover. So, when you’re up against younger women who don’t have that mindset, physicality can become an issue. It’s all a part of the game, but this is different in the Master’s League.”
Liz says the club focuses on what’s best for women and an example of this are the playing kits. She has worked alongside the rest of the committee to create the perfect kits to suit any body type to ensure comfort when playing.
“Wherever I’ve played soccer in a mixed setting, they don’t tailor kits for women in any way. South Canberra FC got a designer to create our kits in a way that is flattering to all different shapes and sizes,” she revealed.
“And it works, the ladies love it and look fantastic in it, and the material is beautiful, so soft and breathable, and most importantly perfect to play soccer in.”
Something that South Canberra FC immensely dedicate their efforts to is the health and wellbeing of women, and an example of this are the programs designed for the preseason.
“We went to one of the local physios and asked them to do a program just for women for soccer. It’s tailored to make the ladies strong during preseason before they start playing because women tend to have different problems than men do. After having babies especially, this presents another set of issues that need to be addressed,” she shared.
Liz is driven to get more Masters teams up and running by encouraging clubs to reach out to mums of the countless juniors they have and promote the Women’s Master’s League.
A major goal for Liz is to eventually get divisions in the league to allow different experience levels to play where they are best suited to.
“A few years ago, there were 400 senior women registered with Capital Football but many didn’t want to play in Master’s because they didn’t think it was for their level,” she said.
“Because Master’s doesn’t offer divisions, it’s been hard to get a balance across the teams. Because of this, it’s hard to get both the experienced and less experienced players to come play because they don’t feel like there’s a spot for them with no divisions.”
Moving forward, Liz is hopeful for these changes to the Women’s Master’s League and with any luck from the promotion through clubs, there can be more women aged 35+ joining the competition.
Words: Sonia Emanuel