Melissa Barbieri

Watch the Women

Melissa Barbieri
Watch the Women

Part 2

On another note, I’m sick and tired of being treated unfairly. It’s basic human rights to be treated fairly when it comes to sexual orientation, age, religion, culture, gender etc. We need to get rid of the boys club culture. To give a few examples around inequality in sport, on many teams we’ve had to endure 2nd class facilities where we’re not even given a full size pitch and it’s poor quality. We’ve had to travel huge distances to get to training, train in smaller sized gyms not being able to train with the whole team. The pitches aren’t lit properly, trainings are cancelled. There’s no rescheduling or alternatives offered and we certainly don’t get priority for the bookings. As a goal keeper, I’ve had to train inside and if I did get a slot on a proper field, at times I’ve been told to ‘keep it under wraps’ so others don’t find out.

Don’t even get me started on paying players. It starts at the roots; we need more time to be committed to fund raising and sponsorships for example. Unfortunately nobody wants to commit the time and it’s ‘all too hard’. Meanwhile, we’re challenged with not being able to afford food, or rent. We want to feel like human beings while pursuing our passion. We shouldn’t have to choose work, over sport, or vice versa just because we want to make ends meet. 

We’ve been turning up without pay for years and years and what we’ve achieved is unbelievable. Can you imagine what our potential would be if we got the right support? 

How much effort is being driven towards the female team when it comes to sponsorship agreements or media? It can be as simple as the posters…. Why aren’t the females on it too? If there’s a game advertisement, why isn’t the women’s game on that ad as well? If there’s a twitter post, again, same story. Some clubs do it, but we have a long, long way to go. We need to stop it being an afterthought. It’s not even about spending extra money, it’s just about inclusion. When you’re included, the exposure grows, which means the brand grows, the audience grows and you have more opportunities for revenue to come in. 

By the time my daughter comes through the ranks, I want her to be able to have choice. I'll continue to advocate for watching women in sport and hopefully smooth the path, so she has the opportunity to follow her passion.

 

Matildas captain & Goal Keeper 2002-2015 MVFC 2015 ACL CLUB 2016
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