Every weekend at rugby clubs, soccer fields, netball matches and tennis fixtures across Australia the often unsung sporting heroes toil away- serving in the canteen, washing jerseys, ferrying players to far- flung fields, cheering from the sidelines and sometimes playing in teams of their own.
It is the women of sport- the mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends and women players who occasionally take time out to enjoy a moment in the sun. Members of SheSociety headed to GPS Rugby Club for their annual Ladies Day event. This is the biggest of its kind in Queensland with seven hundred women descending on the club, where today an impressive marquee had been decorated in hues of white, pink and purple to add a feminine edge to the usual blue and green.
Yet more riotous colour was to come. On the dot of 2pm I rounded the corner to the ladies area and gasped. It felt like I was in a colourful field of flowers which had suddenly blossomed whilst I ‘d been busy watching my own son’s team play. The fashion was dazzling with spots, florals and lace winners on the day for me. It was the coolest ladies day for many years so the ladies wore their new season boots, capes, leather jackets, scarves and felt hats ensuring we were treated to some eye catching and classy autumn ensembles.
Talking to players it is easy to see the impact of Ladies Day. Club stalwart Troy Simpkin said, “This is my favourite fixture. The atmosphere lifts the players and it’s good to take time out to honour the women of rugby – our mothers and the women players at the club. We really appreciate their support.”
For Mitchell Treleaven it’s a real family day with his lovely Mum, girlfriend, sister, aunties and cousins, including SheSociety’s own Amanda Goddard, all getting together to enjoy the atmosphere of the day, whilst meeting up with friends from the local community and watching a great afternoon of footy.
Annie Cook is often seen on the sidelines cheering on her favourite team, but today she is frocked up and ready to support the club by soaking up the glamorous fashion on display and mingling with her well dressed friends, “This is my fifth or sixth year coming along and it just keeps getting bigger. I have nineteen friends here today.”
The excitement as everyone moved into the tent was palpable.There were raffle prizes galore and delicious morsels from Cuisine on Cue. The chefs gave me a sneak peek of the preparations and the ladies were in for a treat being served canapés like- barbecue braised pork belly with red cabbage and citrus coleslaw, grilled prawn and chorizo skewers with a dipping sauce and glazed ham sliders with caramelised onion and Swiss cheese.
The wine was flowing and the chatter turned up a notch as the main event the 1st grade game between GPS and Souths began. Luckily GPS won the nail biter by a mere two points, ensuring a night of celebrations for the Ladies Day revellers with the band playing and the ladies dancing long into the night. It was a great day to recognise the contribution of the women behind the scenes and to focus on the women rugby players whose ranks are growing every year. All hail the ladies!