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Women we admire: The Matildas




In the male-dominated world of sports, the Matilda’s performance in recent months have been a watershed moment for women's sports. Indeed, it seems as though nearly everyone has “woken up” not only to the joy of soccer, but to that led by strong women. Indeed, the Matilda’s semi-final against England became the most watched television show in Australia on record, peaking at 11.15 million viewers on that Wednesday night. Their journey to global prominence is a testament to their perseverance, teamwork, and the unbreakable spirit of athletes who dare to dream. Perhaps the greatest strength of the Matilda’s however, is their ability to inspire not only young girls, but everybody in the country.


The Matilda’s were one of the first women’s teams to be awarded a professional contract, setting a precedent for equal opportunity and paving the way for countless women to pursue their passion for soccer. Off-field, team captain Sam Kerr has pioneered a new football academy program for young girls and boys between 3-14 to chase their soccer goals.


Their path to success was not without its challenges. Like all athletes, the Matildas have faced setbacks and disappointments, but they have consistently risen above them. They've shown the world that setbacks are not roadblocks but rather stepping stones to greatness. Their resilience in the face of adversity is a shining example for all of us to follow, reminding us that with determination, we can conquer any obstacle in our path.


One of the most inspiring aspects of the Matildas is their diverse team composition, representing various backgrounds and cultures. This multicultural unity sends a powerful message that talent knows no borders. Sam Kerr, talking to Forbes, speaks proudly of her Indian heritage, while fans have found further inspiration in Mary Fowler, whose mother was born in Papua New Guinea, and Indigenous players like Anaiwan woman Kyah Simon and Noongar goalkeeper Lydia Williams. Such diversity is a great reminder to young girls particularly that regardless where we come from, we can achieve greatness when we work together, respect one another, and celebrate our differences.


The Matildas are more than just athletes; they are role models for young girls and boys everywhere. Their brand after the World Cup tournament is estimated to have risen to as much as $210M, compared to around $40M before. And yet, their true strength has been immeasurable. They have shone a light on the growth potential of women's sport, and encouraged further investment and funding into more programs at a local level and beyond.


Congratulations Matildas.


Photo credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images


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