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Ray Carroll’s ‘From the Boundary’: August 8, 2023

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Women in sport

Women’s sport has grown considerably in Australia over the past couple of decades, which is reflected in areas of participation, attendance at venues, media, and TV coverage.

Currently, the world football – soccer as we call it in Australia – cup for women illustrates the explosion that has occurred not only in soccer, but cricket, netball, basketball, and they have gone ahead in leaps and bounds.

Huge crowds for the FIFA World Cup and only a short time ago nearly 90,000 at the MCG for the women’s cricket World Cup are evidence of remarkable growth.

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Crowds at the women’s soccer World Cup have exceeded all expectations. There have been many sell-out crowds with attendances greatly boosted by a huge influx of fans from around the globe, including nearly 30,000 USA fans who have made the trip.

A big attraction for girls is that they can aspire to represent their country on the international stage in numerous sports.

The Aussie female cricketers have just played in England before record sell-out audiences at several venues.

Australian football has certainly attracted great participation numbers since the AFLW’s inception only few years ago.

But officials are concerned at the nosedive in crowds and television ratings since the early peak. Maybe the AFL should schedule the games as curtain-raisers to the men’s games.

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Plenty of former AFL footballers and even sacked Gold Coast Suns coach Stuart Dew have been in the UK watching the thrilling Ashes series.

Geelong legend Joel Selwood was seen in the nets with the Aussies.

Dew was treated shamefully by the Suns’ boss. He is a really nice person, a good coach and is admired across the footy world. He played 99 games for Port Adelaide.

Varia

Highly-regarded Oblates missionary priest Father Austin Cooper recently died in Gippsland.

Born in Sorrento, he attended ACK and then studied law at Melbourne University before deciding to study for the priesthood. He was ordained in Ireland.

Father Cooper received an Order of Australia Medal in 2004 for his services to education. He was inspirational to countless students over many years.

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Kilmore Cricket Club held its annual general meeting with a good attendance at club headquarters. The club is buoyed by strong numbers at senior, junior and women’s level.

Secretary Cath Mogridge continues to do a very fine job in the role. Legend of area cricket Laurie Boyd continues his wonderful service.

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The sports seasons come and go very quickly. Another AFL season is winding down with the September finals nearly upon us. Collingwood remain the side to beat.

The Magpies have played more attractive football than most other clubs and much credit for this must go to coach Craig McCrae. He has ensured the players enjoy the game unencumbered by countless meetings, review sessions and relentless box ticking printouts. McCrae has a very fine captain in Darcy Moore.

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A young cycling friend Max Holgate, whose mum Lauren Cummins attended ACK, is among the many hundreds of people so disappointed the Commonwealth Games were suddenly cancelled in Victoria. The athletes train for years for such events and it’s been a huge let down for so many.

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