It’s an exciting time in our sport, as the AFL Women’s League kicks off in February 2017, seeing Australian Football join the NBA in having both men’s and women’s professional leagues.
Here in the States, the USAFL has had women’s clubs almost since the beginning of the sport in the US. Likewise, the St. Petersburg Swans have had co-ed matches since our start.
All of our intra-squad ‘metro rules’ (tackle) and AFL 9s (touch) scrimmages are co-ed and do not award scoring advantages for female players.
With three of our club members – Holly Wenrich, Annie Wenrich and Dionne Jones – having competed for the USAFL Liberty Women’s National Team – the St. Petersburg Swans are committed to developing co-ed and women’s footy.
That effort was highlighted at the 2016 USAFL National Championships, as the combined team featuring players from the Portland Sockeyes, Seattle Grizzlies, Arizona Hawks and St. Petersburg Swans ran off with the hardware as the Women’s Division II Champions.
With Swans Dionne Jones, Heather van der Hoop, Holly Wenrich, Sharon Gam and Annie Weaver contributed to the Sockeye’s title in a big way, helping fuel the tournament-opening 6.6.36 – 3.0.18 victory over Columbus?Baltimore; a 5.6.36 – 1.0.6 drubbing of Montreal to reach the Women’s Division II Grand Final.
That Grand Final – a rematch vs. the Montreal Angels, the Swans propelled Portland to a 7.4.46 – 1.2.8 win, and the 2016 Women’s Division II Premiers.
The St. Petersburg Swans continue Winter League co-ed play January 14, 2017, at Crescent Lake Common. Ball up will be 11 AM. Trainings and practices are always free, and are open to co-ed players of all ages and skill level.