KICKING GOALS: Clifton sisters Tiffany Groves and Chloe Groves have signed up for their first season of soccer, but want more representation on the field.
KICKING GOALS: Clifton sisters Tiffany Groves and Chloe Groves have signed up for their first season of soccer, but want more representation on the field. Marian Faa

NOT JUST A BOY'S SPORT: Sisters leave stigma at home

LEAVING gender on the sidelines, two sisters are determined to show the region that soccer is a sport for everyone.

"I wanted to prove girls aren't just house people and we can do anything,” Tiffany Groves said.

Assertive, ambitious and ready for action, Tiffany and sister Chloe signed up for their first season of soccer last weekend.

But the pair were disappointed at the lack of female representation the found on the field.

"There's not enough girls playing soccer,” Tiffany said.

"There's about three or four on our team, but other teams have no girls at all.”

FUN FOR ALL: Tiffany Groves said soccer was fun, and more girls would enjoy the sport if they just gave it a go.
FUN FOR ALL: Tiffany Groves said soccer was fun, and more girls would enjoy the sport if they just gave it a go. Marian Faa

According to Tiffany, gender-based stigma was deterring girls and women from playing soccer.

"Most people think it's a boy's sport when it can be a boys and girls sport,” she said.

Chloe agreed, saying many girls her age chose to play stereotypically "feminine” sports like netball, or not play sport at all.

Warwick District Football Association vice president Peter Darton said there had been around a 20 - 30 per cent down turn in the number of female junior soccer enrolments this season.

"I guess we probably are a little bit disappointed that we haven't had as many girls registered this year compared to previous years.”

Darton said the club typically had a high number of female enrolments.

"As a general we get quite a lot of girls playing, anything up to a third of the club can be girls.”

But this year, that doesn't seem to be so.

GIRL POWER: Tiffany Groves is a goalkeeper for the blue team.
GIRL POWER: Tiffany Groves is a goalkeeper for the blue team. Marian Faa

"We're trying to run a better competition, making it as fair as possible so girls who come into teams feel they can participate and contribute to the competition, which hasn't always happened,” he said.

Former Warwick Football Association coach Luke Duff said two all-girls under 13s and under 14s teams had been established by the Southern Downs Football Academy this year.

The girls teams compete in the mixed junior soccer Toowoomba competition for the West Wanderers Club, but train in Warwick.

"I think what has happened is that a lot of girls have gone to the Toowoomba competition,” Duff said.

"There's not much going on for the girls (in the Warwick competition).”

Duff was supportive of the all-girls teams.

"I have coached a mixed array of girls and you do notice some of the girls will sit back and will not get involved.

"But when you do those all-girls carnivals they are a completely different girl.”



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