Breaking through the barriers: Richmond role model now a Cadbury ambassador

RICHMOND'S AFLW role model Akec Makur Chuot has been named an Ambassador for Cadbury's National Women in Sport initiative  - a program that aims to keep women, especially young girls, engaged in sport.

With one in two young girls dropping out from organised sport from the age of 15, the initiative will inspire and enable young girls to continue to participate in sports, encouraging them to break through the barriers that young women may face in male originated sports.

Cadbury, in partnership with the NAB AFLW competition, Australian Women's Cricket team, the NRLW and the Westfield Matildas, are uniting leading women's sporting codes to support the continued growth and equality of women's sports in Australia.

Akec Makur Chuot walks out onto the field for the round three AFLW match between Richmond and North Melbourne Kangaroos at the Swinburne Centre in February. Picture: Getty Images

With the lower degree of coverage of women's sport compared to men's, it is clear that young women have fewer opportunities to identify with professional players.

This is why the Cadbury Women in Sport initiative will shine a light on a number of incredible Australian female athletes and their sporting codes, giving young girls progressive and positive role models to look up to.

To support the continued growth of women in sport and inspire the next generation, Cadbury has partnered with four diverse and motivating female athletes across the sporting codes for its Women in Sport initiative. The Ambassadors include Makur Chuot, Westfield Matildas star defender Alanna Kennedy, St George Illawarra Dragons player and Dally M Women's Player of the Year Jess Sergis and Australian Young Cricketer of the Year Tayla Vlaeminck.

Cadbury Ambassadors (L-R): Australian Young Cricketer of the Year Tayla Vlaeminck, Richmond star Akec Makur Chuot, Westfield Matildas defender Alanna Kennedy, and St George Illawarra Dragon Jess Sergis

Each Ambassador will play an important role, sharing their personal experiences and stories through a number of activities and initiatives throughout the partnership, including taking part in an Ambassador content series. To be released later in the year, the series will feature young girls from local Australian communities and sporting clubs asking questions and having an open and honest conversation with the Ambassadors about how they pushed the boundaries and the barriers they have had to overcome. The diverse stories will show young girls that they can play sport at all ages and levels and inspire them to get in the game.

Makur Chuot is an example that showcases how playing sport can change your life. "Growing up in Kenya – South Sudan, there weren't many opportunities to play sport, which was tough for me as I've always loved getting outside and keeping active. It wasn't until I moved to Australia that I came across AFL. Playing footy has really changed my life and I want to give young women hope to know that they can do whatever it is they want to do."

Akec Makur Chuot in action for Richmond

The two-year partnership with Cadbury's Women in Sport partners will kick off on September 25, coinciding with the Australian Women's Cricket team returning to the field for the first time since their World Cup triumph in front of a record crowd at the MCG in March.

Throughout the partnership, Cadbury and the sporting codes will unite to put women's sport at the forefront, encouraging Australians to engage and connect with women's sport. Whether it's watching, playing or supporting behind the scenes, the initiative will celebrate and cheer on Australian women in sport.

Kathy De Lullo, Senior Marketing Manager at Mondelez Australia says, "We're thrilled to launch our Women in Sport initiative this year. As a brand, we want to show our commitment to the Australian community, and we feel incredibly passionate about encouraging and supporting the continued growth and equality of women's sport in our country. With women's sport kicking off in September, it couldn't come at a better time, especially given the broader challenges of 2020 for all sporting communities."