Grassroots Glory

Lauren Pilat  | STIRLING TIMES
MIRRABOOKA MLA Janine Freeman admits she’s not an avid AFL supporter but as a Subiaco Football Club vice-patron and supporter her passion lies with WAFL and grassroots footy.
In Ms Freeman’s eyes, the AFL grand final is not the only highly anticipated competition this weekend, with Subiaco going up against West Perth to defend their 12 premierships.
Ms Freeman, whose father Arthur Freeman played for West Perth, said she followed WAFL because it was much more community-based with Subiaco having a strong connection with Edmund Rice Centre Lions and encouraging children from diverse cultures to be involved in sport.
“I love the participation of the game and that’s why I like WAFL because you can go out and have a kick on the oval during half time; you’re much more a part of it,” she said.
“It’s about the families getting involved. I like it when it’s much more community-based and grassroots and Subiaco does that really well. I’m a big supporter of Subi.”
Ms Freeman said she acknowledged the West Coast Eagles for their “fantastic” connection to the Edmund Rice Centre Lions with Nic Natanui coming down to work with them as a role model.
“Because the limelight is on footballers in WA, the whole aspect of them being really important role models is quite pivotal for young people to get good role models around physical health as well as mental health and community participation,” she said.
Ms Freeman said Subi was facing “a bit of a struggle” to get players and wanted to make sure that children in the Balga area had an opportunity to play football.
“Subiaco Football Club is really committed to ensuring that the communities in that Balga area get the same opportunities to be able to compete in kids sport because of the value that it is for kids to participate in sport,” she said.
Ms Freeman said in terms of AFL she hoped the Dockers would win after missing out on the premiership in 2013.

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