To kick off round six of the AFLW season on Saturday 14th March, senior AFLW stars Chloe Molloy, Darcy Vescio and Monique Conti will debut new red mouthguards emblazoned with a call to action, #RiseWithUs – a symbolic act to highlight the ongoing challenges experienced by female athletes, especially at a grassroots level.
The distinctive #RiseWithUs mouthguards have been introduced by AFLW founding partner, Special K, as part of their commitment to unlock opportunities and enable more girls to play the sport they love.
The mouthguards will be available to junior AFL clubs nationally via a rebate and discount program, to help minimise participation costs for young girls.
All AFL clubs that include girls’ competitions are eligible to participate in the unique mouthguard program. These are available at a 30 per cent discount and clubs receive a $10 rebate for every mouthguard purchased.
While the professional game is thriving, grassroots level clubs continue to be challenged as they are inundated with young females wanting to play the game. AFLW stars Carlton’s Darcy Vescio, Chloe Molloy, Monique Conti and former Collingwood and North Melbourne marquee player Moana Hope, are lending their support to the initiative.
“As leaders, we need to keep rising up to the task, now and most importantly for the next generation. While women’s professional sport has scored some big wins in the past few years, this mouthguard program is a small but symbolic act to remind us that the fight for equal opportunity at all levels has really only just begun. It’s a like a mini suit of armour – giving you greater confidence to tackle hard and attack the ball,” Vescio said.
Female participation in Australian football continues to grow, with a 10.6 per cent increase in 2019 seeing females account for almost a third of participation across the country.
AFL Head of Women’s Football Nicole Livingstone applauded the program. “Special K’s #RiseWithUs program is a great support of our growth in female participation across the country. The mouthguard initiative removes a barrier and assists to ensure girls have the opportunity to play footy in a fun, safe environment,” Livingstone said.
Tamara Howe, marketing and corporate affairs director at Kellogg ANZ said, “Female athletes today truly epitomise strength, courage and resilience in addressing the obstacles they face. It’s for this reason that Special K has been a proud sponsor of the AFLW since its inception, and through our #RiseWithUs program we’re committed to helping create pathways for the next generation of female players.”
To make it easy for clubs and players, the Special K #RiseWithUs mobile mouthguard van can be booked to visit clubs for bulk fittings. All mouthguards are made by qualified dental technicians and provided back to the club within 10 working days.
Clubs wishing to book a Special K #RiseWithUs mouthguard fitting and receive rebates can register at www.specialk.com.au/risewithus
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