On Thursday the 19th of May the world of women's sports was happily reeling from two major announcements that affected the pay and benefits of its elite athletes.
The USA Women's Soccer got their Equal Pay for Equal play and The AFL Women's finalised their Collective Bargaining Agreement and a start to a new season.
The long anticipated CBA Agreement for the AFL Womens players was finally announced with massive wins for the athletes with a 94 % pay increase for players across the board. The CBA also includes a parenting and pregnancy policy, increased meal allowance and some licencing revenue.
The changing of the season start from November to August could have detrimental effect on the attendance of the AFLW games as it runs alongside the male AFL competition. It will be interesting to see how this works. We will wait to see what the fixtures and venues look like.
Women in Sport WA are sure the players, their families and friends are celebrating a bit tonight but the hard work does not stop their for many.
Will the AFLW CBA have a knock on effect to other codes?
In an ideal world, this should push other sporting codes to look after their athletes and elevate standards especially in a post pandemic norm. With the Soccer world Cup on our doorstep this year, hopefully the A league will follow suit. The hard part for these athlete in Australia is they are still Part-time.
For the West Aussie players what does that mean?
The transfers will start and player movement has already happened. Freo have seen a much beloved Gemma Houghton leave for the new Port Adelaide side where she joins the legend that is Erin Phillips. With the ink dry and draft season will be upon us the floodgates will open. Remember, four new teams are joining the competition bringing the total teams to 18.
Another point is will we see the return of the much loved Irish players to the West Coast Eagles and Aine Tighe to Freo as the change of season competes with the Gaelic football season?
Across the very bog pond, the USA National Women's team got their Pay Parity with the mens national side. The outcome gives them a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that has stated there will be increased earnings and the money won from both world cups will be pooled together and shared. This has been a long hard battle for many in Women's soccer in the USA. A charge that was led by Megan Rapinoe when lawsuits were filed on behalf of the Women's soccer team after winning the last world cup. The women have won four world cups and the men are still to get past quarter final stages. Both male and female players should get around $450,000 each a year.
Well done to all who have fought long and hard to get both codes to where they are today especially to our very own Jan Cooper for all the amazing work she has done with AFLW.
Now we just have to learn more about the NFTs and the NILs lol 😆 but what a massive progression for Womens sport.
Photo credit AFL Women's