Hawthorn is not one of the eight clubs that currently has an AFL Women’s team in the new national league, but Emma Swanson, player for the AFLW’s GWS Giants team, thinks this is a great step forward for the AFLW as well as the Hawks and Aussie Rules in general. “Appointing a female athlete, role model and all-round sports administrator is great news for the AFL. It’s always good for the AFLW to have another voice in with the powers that be,” she says.
Western Bulldogs AFLW player Katie Brennan agrees it’s a big step in the right direction for sportswomen – and actually, all women. “The appointment of Tracey Gaudry is yet another example that we’re heading in the right direction and breaking down barriers in traditionally male-dominated industries.”
Both Brennan and Swanson believe Gaudry will be do an excellent job leading the club. “Gaudry’s a cancer survivor, a mother, an Olympian and now the first full-time female chief executive of an AFL club. In my eyes she’s an absolute boss,” says Brennan. “I’m so glad we all have another role model leading the way for women in sport and women in general.”
Swanson adds, “I have no doubt, regardless of gender, Gaudry was the right person for the job, and that’s fantastic to see women proving themselves in a male-dominated environment.”
Gaudry starts her position with the Hawks at the end of May.