29 Feb, 2016 Last updated: 29 Feb, 2016

By Jerril Rechter, VicHealth CEO

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter
Jerril Rechter, VicHealth CEO

Letter first published in The Border Mail, 27 February 2016.

Download the letter to editor (PDF, 176KB)

Glouftsis will this weekend stake her claim in the history books when she becomes the first female field umpire to ever officiate an official AFLmatch during Sunday’s NAB Challenge clash between Carlton and Essendon. 

Her debut on Sunday is evidence of her hard work and dedication and also a reflection of the AFL’s commitment to support women in sport and in leadership positions. 

Undoubtedly her debut will also inspire many young women who are interested in playing or umpiring in the AFL to strive for the top, which is important given that more than two thirds of Australian women and girls are classified as being sedentary or having low levels of exercise. 

VicHealth is working hard to try to increase the number of women and girls who are physically active, while also raising the profile of women’s sport in the media and championing the important role women play in sports’ leadership and management. 

Initiatives like AFL Active, which is funded by VicHealth, aim to provide fun and social ways for women to workout based on AFL principles and techniques, are an important part of getting more women physically active more often. 

Having positive rolemodels like Eleni and AFL player Daisy Pearce, who are paving the way for future players and umpires, is also invaluable in raising the profile of women’s sport and getting more women and girls to take part in physical activity. 

Jerril Rechter is CEO of VicHealth.