Football Queensland is delighted to announce the final Female Football Week Award winner for 2022, Women’s Football Club of the Year Bargara FC.
Based in the Central Coast region, Bargara FC has had a strong focus on enhancing and nurturing female football within its community since its inception and prides itself on the inclusion of women and girls throughout all parts of the club.
“I have to say, we’re extremely proud, as a club that was founded by two passionate women,” Bargara FC President David Campbell said.
“We’re a small club completely run by volunteers and sponsors so just to be acknowledged for that is amazing.
“This allows us to keep going forward in terms of what we can do to encourage the females we already have at the club and get more girls and ladies involved in football.
“We’re extremely proud and this is just the start.”
The club’s commitment to supporting female participation starts at the executive level, as Campbell explained, which is why the majority of Bargara’s club committee consists of women.
It is a fitting continuation of the legacy of the club’s pioneering founding members, two women whose tireless efforts began transforming Bargara FC into the club it is today.
“The decision makers of our club, every single position, except for President, is held by a female who either plays the game, or coaches at our club, or has children involved,” he said.
“They’ve got intimate knowledge of how our club should be run and they have that mindset around not just being a great club for all members, but there’s a specific focus on females.”
In addition to its female-led executive team, Bargara FC also cultivates an inclusive environment by actively recruiting women of all ages to join the club, encouraging and supporting female coaches and most recently, appointing Madelyn McCracken as Junior Director of Coaching.
“The regard that she’s held in, not only at our club but within the Wide Bay area has just allowed us to continue that push towards incorporating and encouraging females to join the sport,” Campbell said.
“Coaches rely on her so heavily which suggests that what she brings is an enhancement to our club and to their side and the ability for her to pass her ideas on.”
Campbell also noted McCracken’s strong presence within the club as an encouragement for other young women to begin coaching.
“It breaks down preconceived stereotypes, and the fact that she holds a leadership position and mentors other coaches has encouraged more coaches to want to be involved and learn from her.”
While Bargara FC has made various strides in the female space, the club aims to continue its mission through continued participation and retention.
“Girls that have been involved in football for a while, they do end up playing a lot of sports and that’s always a challenge in regional Queensland,” Campbell said.
“We need to focus on how to keep those children and young adults engaged in football.
“We’re a big believer in, ‘if you build it, they will come’ and I think if we try and start small in terms of getting girls in, we can break down barriers.”