Tomorrow afternoon at the Melbourne Uni Oval, the Melbourne University Women’s Football Club will be hosting their annual Pride matches. Now in its seventh year, this year’s round is against Collegians in the Seniors and Reserves, while the Thirds will be taking on Kew.
What initially started out in 2017 as a VFLW match between the Mugars and the Darebin Falcons has evolved into a significant and important day on the calendar for all teams at MUWFC.
From where it started, to where it is now, the entire club is behind this important cause. All three teams, Seniors, Reserves and Thirds will wear the club’s Pride jumper this weekend.
Melbourne Uni forward and host of the VAFA’s Inside the Boundary, Lucy Watkin will be playing on Saturday against Collegians. Her teammate Izzy Grutzner joined Watkin and Sophie Welsh to talk through how important this weekend is for the club.
“It’s a really important round for lots of people, especially so many of our players.” Grutzner said.
In the lead up to the game, the club has “made celebration a focus. We’ve run an education session, and there’s lots of going on behind the scenes.”
MUWFC’s theme for this years pride round is ‘Pride not Prejudice’. All people, regardless of gender, sexuality or identity, deserve a safe, supportive environment to be fully themselves.
Grutzner noted in recent times the ‘vitriol’ that’s in the media towards trans and gender diverse sportspeople and the MUWFC Advisory Committee decided on the motto being short, sweet and simple.
“We came together as an advisory group; the message of it is simple but effective – this round for us is about celebration, we want this to be a celebration of anyone and everyone.”
MUWFC’s opponent on Saturday will be Collegians, who’ve made a barnstorming start to life in William Buck Premier. Tara Goss, Lions defender also joined Inside the Boundary, is honoured that her club will be part of this significant day.
“It’s so important, we’ve got so many different people from all walks of life, from the inception of AFLW it opens up so many avenues for girls, and people who want to be involved in something bigger” she said.
The Lions go into this contest in second spot on the ladder, having won their last two matches. Melbourne Uni are seventh after beating Fitzroy in round five.
With four points on the line, it pales in comparison to the significance of the day itself, for both sides “It’s definitely important, and to remind everybody to be open minded, and a comfortable space for everyone.” Goss said.
As for Grutzner, coming to Melbourne Uni Women’s Football Club in 2019 has allowed her to feel more comfortable in her skin. She is one of many stories of people and players at MUWFC who are thankful for the clubs role in creating the community they have.
“It’s so inspiring to be playing alongside other players who are out and who are themselves, shamelessly loving who they love and playing the great game of footy, especially at a club like Melbourne Uni who pride themselves on inclusion.”
Each year the playing group selects the charity that MUWFC will be raising funds for, this year they have selected Black Rainbow, which is a national volunteer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTIA+SB social enterprise, supporting positive health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTIA+SB communities across Australia.
Melbourne University Women’s Football Club face off against Collegians on Saturday, May 20. Both the seniors and reserves matches will be streamed live on KommunityTV. The Reserves will begin at 12:00 Pm with the Seniors kicking off at 2:00 PM.
Photo: Melbourne Uni Women’s Instagram