Rovers Football Club change room refurbishment a first in GNFL, aims to boost female inclusivity

Upgrades to a Midwest football club mean its women’s side no longer must change inside toilet cubicles due to inadequate facilities.

A plan approved by the City of Greater Geraldton will make the Rovers Football Club the first Great Northern Football League (GNFL) team to have dedicated change rooms for female players.

The Rovers recorded their first game on April 7, 1895, and has been a mainstay for the Geraldton community since.

Four years ago, the GNFL introduced its inaugural women’s season and the Rovers pulled together a side of female players.

This season, GNFL president Carrissa Belloitte said the GNFL put forward an average of 22 female players a team.

“The GNFL has seven teams, with about 150 females in total,” she said.

Rovers Captain Bree Parfitt is proud to be part of the side since the beginning.

“It’s super exciting. I think footy for women is going forward, not backwards,” she said.

Redevelopment to help inclusivity

While the club has kept up with the times in offering an inclusive women’s side, Parfitt says the facilities have become outdated.

The Rovers change rooms, built at Greenough Oval in 1976, are “designed for men,” she says.

“Having upgrades to our change room facility will mean a lot to the women’s side, that’s for sure, just so that we can have a bit more privacy.”

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