Jada Whyman from the Western Sydney Wanderers FC was named the inaugural recipient of the Role Model Award when the Female Football Week National Award Winners were announced at a breakfast function held at Luminare in Melbourne this morning.
The Role Model Award is an Award that recognises excellence both on and off the pitch. The selected player’s influence on the game extends beyond her professional playing capacities, with a focus on community. This player embodies what it takes to be a professional footballer; someone who is not only dedicated on the pitch, but also supports and encourages growth of the game at all levels within the community. The winner is selected based on good sportsmanship and attitude, must have played for a Westfield W-League Club during the 2017/18 season and must be under 21 at the start of the season.
Jada, an 18 year old goalkeeper for the Wanderers, was a worthy recipient of the Role Model award. Having not only played in 11 of her teams 14 matches in the Westfield W-League 2017/18season, she was also a member of the Westfield Young Matildas that represented Australia at the 2017 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship in Nanjing, China. Off the field Jada has been a tireless ambassador for the Western Sydney Wanderers FC conducting over thirty community and media appearances this season alone. In addition to being the face of the club’s marketing campaign, Jada is a role model and mentor for indigenous footballers in her local area and around the country.
In addition to the Role Model, all other Female Football Week National Awards were also announced this morning.
In the Member Federation Category, the Female Player of the Year was Liana Cook from Women’s U-19 NTC team within Football West, the Female Coach of the Year Emma Zaymund from the Casuarina Football Club within Football Federation Northern Territory, the Female Administrator of the Year was Linda Cerone from the Nepean Football Association within Football NSW, the Female Referee of the Year was Georgia Ghirardello from Capital Football and the Male Champion of the Year Leonard Allen from Garden Suburb FC within Northern NSW Football.
In the Hyundai A-League/Westfield W-League Category the Female Coach of the Year was Kat Smith from Melbourne Victory, the Female Administrator of the Year Lucy Kennedy from Melbourne City FC, the Female Fan of the Year was Lucy Topp from Canberra United, and The Male Champion of the Year was Wally Van Gool from the Western Sydney Wanderers FC.
The objective of the Female Football Week this year is to promote discussion around gender equality and to amplify new and existing female-specific programs to ensure that barriers for girls and women to get involved in football are removed.
All levels of the game will be involved in promoting what has become an annual nationwide initiative. Member Federations, associations and clubs will be activating collaboratively with Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League Clubs to deliver a variety of grassroots initiatives and match day activations.
Activities and events to be held throughout Female Football Week will include activations at Hyundai A-League Round 22 matches, Women in Leadership workshops, Women and Girls mentor programs, coaching and refereeing courses, ALDI Miniroos for Girls Kick-off programs, plus a host of ‘meet and greet’ signing opportunities with Westfield W-League players.