No Better Time to be a Woman in Sport

There has never been a better time to be a woman in professional sport. Female athletes are finally starting to steal some of the limelight from the Australian men through record crowds, history-making TV deals and a swag of new or rebranded leagues. At the forefront is a new generation of fearless sporting superstars encouraging young girls to participate.

Since its first bounce on 3 February, the women’s AFL league has attracted capacity crowds and thousands of TV viewers. When bitter rivals Carlton and Collingwood clashed in the opening match, thousands of people were turned away from Melbourne’s Ikon Park when it hit its 24,500 capacity while an estimated 1.1 million people tuned in via Channel 7. And, of course, it comes after the history-making Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens won Olympic gold in Rio last year. Netball is also working to increase its audience via the new Suncorp Super Netball competition and the growth in Women’s Cricket, in the new format of the Female Twenty20 league, has resulted in female numbers making up 22% of total cricket participants in Australia.

Western Sydney University Institute for Culture and Society Professor David Rowe says “there has been a definite shift over the past year in favour of women’s sport — with women’s leagues starting to claw back some of the nation’s already ‘crowded sports market’ from men”.

Two St Catherine’s graduates from the 2016 Year 12 class have utilised their sporting prowess as a vehicle to open doors at prestigious USA Universities. Madeleine Baker has been offered an opportunity to pursue her love of field hockey at Boston University and 2016 Rowing Co-Captain, Annie Anezakis, will continue to inspire our rowers from abroad whilst studying at Princeton University.

With months of early morning training sessions complete, the St Catherine’s School rowing crews will travel to the Barwon River, Geelong, for the annual Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta; the pinnacle event on the Schoolgirls Rowing calendar. The girls will be racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the heats and repechages taking place on Saturday and the semi-finals and finals on the Sunday. With over 1800 competitors entered in the events this weekend, the Victorian HOSG remains one of the largest Schoolgirl Regattas in Australia.

The St Catherine’s rowers have enjoyed a very successful season to date under the guidance of Head of Rowing, Mr Dave Fraumano and Junior Rowing Coordinator, Ms Brigette Carlile; and we are greatly anticipating this weekend. In recent weeks, the Senior Eight crews have been quietly building momentum and have successfully improved on their performance in January which resulted in both crews qualifying for the Nationals in Penrith over the Easter break. The Year 10 Crews are proving to be a formidable force through all divisions, with many girls reaping the benefits of a year-round fitness focus through a strong running culture embedded in programs and under the guidance of Head of Sport, Mr Lloyd Knight. The Year 9 crews have also gained momentum over recent weeks with their excitement palpable at School this week as they head into their first Head of School Girls weekeSchool community members are invited to support our crews on the banks of the Barwon River over the weekend; just look for the St Catherine’s marquee and a sea of light blue ribbons. Our crews will be well-supported by the Parent Support Group, The Heyington Club, with ample cheer from parents, grandparents and family friends, all wearing the St Catherine’s colours.

Congratulations to our Rowing Captains, Alex Stopp and Gretel Newton-Brown and all of the senior rowers whose leadership, commitment and role modelling to our younger students has again been outstanding all season. The exceptional team work, unity and spirit visibly present at Mercantile, the home of St Catherine’s Rowing, is a credit to our seniors and on behalf of St Catherine’s School, I wish all girls an enjoyable and successful regatta.

Also striving to succeed in their own sporting endeavours is Year 8 student, Mayuri Muralidharan. Mayuri is a very real contender for selection in the 2018 Australian Fencing Team. The School wishes Mayuri the very best as she competes in the forthcoming European Zone and the Asian Zone competitions this year and trains as part of the Australian Talented Fencer program.

Some of our golfing parents and community members will be interested in the progress of Year 7 student Jeneath Wong. Jeneath recently shot a 7 under par whilst playing in the Club Pennant Competition for Huntingdale Golf Club!

In the coming weeks, two St Catherine’s students will compete at the Australian Junior Track and Field Championship. Olivia Nigido-Scott (Year 7), finished the Victorian Junior Championships with a bronze medal in the U14 Shot Put and silver medal in the U14 Discus and Elodie Ferrali (Year 8) will be representing Victoria in a gruelling 400m event. Good luck girls.

Head of Sport, Mr Lloyd Knight celebrates the full collection of recent St Catherine’s sporting achievements, in addition to providing a wealth of information regarding the GSV competitions on the mystcatherines Sports page.


Mrs Michelle Carroll


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