THE AFL has today announced the 2021 NAB AFLW Premiership Cup Ambassador, along with seven NAB AFLW Community Cup Ambassadors at the official 2021 NAB AFLW season launch.
Yeronga South Brisbane Devils Football Club player, Jamie Howell has been selected to be the 2021 NAB AFLW Premiership Cup Ambassador.
Jamie, who is profoundly deaf, captured the hearts of many people last year when her teammates surprised her by performing a rendition of their club theme song in Auslan, following a win in the QAFLW league.
As part of her role, Jamie will be involved in the 2021 NAB AFLW Grand Final and present the NAB AFLW Premiership Cup to the winning team.
Head of Women’s Football, Nicole Livingstone said Jamie represents the true spirit of the AFLW community.
"It’s fair to say 2020 served up some pretty ordinary moments for all of us, but the moment when the Yeronga South Brisbane Football Club surprised Jamie with a rousing rendition of their club song in Auslan certainly captured the hearts and minds of all," Ms Livingstone said.
"The football community is known for embracing each other regardless of a person’s background or ability, and the Yeronga Devils have demonstrated above all else they respect and value one another. Jamie is an amazing athlete in her own right and is a role model for other women and people in the Deaf community that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
"Jamie and her team represent the true spirit of the AFLW community – inclusiveness and passion, so we’re delighted to have Jamie involved in the AFLW season in her role as 2021 NAB AFLW Premiership Cup Ambassador."
Jamie, who plays football wearing a cochlear implant, said she was thrilled to be selected as the 2021 NAB AFLW Premiership Cup Ambassador.
"I’m so excited to be selected as the 2021 NAB AFLW Premiership Cup Ambassador, it’s such an incredible opportunity and I’m stoked to be part of it," Ms Howell said.
"It means so much to me because it’s recognition for my amazing club, teammates and staff who have gone above and beyond to make sure I felt included, supported and part of the team, so to be able to represent them on the biggest day on the AFLW calendar means a lot."
For the first time, seven representatives from each state and territory will also be involved in the NAB AFLW Finals after being selected as NAB AFLW Community Cup Ambassadors.
Jo Butland (QLD), Charmaine Rogers (WA), Yvette Andrews (NSW/ACT), Lateesha Jeffrey (NT), Shona MacInnes (VIC), Jodie Mather (TAS) and Paul Modra (SA) have been selected as the inaugural NAB AFLW Community Cup Ambassadors for their outstanding contribution to female football.
The inaugural NAB AFLW Community Cup Ambassador program was established to recognise members of the female football community who have been instrumental in facilitating and nurturing the remarkable growth of women’s football.
Each NAB AFLW Community Cup Ambassador receives a $1,000 grant from the Women’s Football Fund to donate to the club of their choice and the opportunity to be involved in the 2021 NAB AFLW Finals Series.
See below for more information on each of the 2021 NAB AFLW Community Cup Ambassadors:
Jo Butland - Queensland
Jo Butland, from the North Cairns Tigers has dedicated over 15 years of service to female football. On the field, Jo’s football accolades include four league Best & Fairest medals, four All-Australian selections and eight premierships with North Cairns. Jo has also contributed heavily off the field and was a catalyst towards the growth of women’s football in the Cairns region. Jo was named the 2012 AFL Cairns Female Coach of the Year and was honoured with the namesake for the Best Player award for the Queensland open-age Sunfire team with the Jo Butland Medal.
Charmaine Rogers - Western Australia
Charmaine Rogers has a long and prestigious history in female football in Western Australia which has seen her impact the lives of many players and administrators over the last 27 years. Described as the heart and soul of the Claremont Women’s Football Club since arriving in 1993, Charmaine has contributed to the game in almost every role possible, including as a player, coach, secretary, Club President, Club Board member, WAWFL President, WAWFL Board member and competition coordinator. In addition, Charmaine has a competition named in her honour ‘The Rogers Cup’ and was made a Life Member of the WAWFL for services to the game and advancement of female sport in WA.
Yvette Andrews - NSW/ACT
Yvette Andrews is the Vice President of Inner West Football Club and was the Founding Secretary of the Sydney Women's AFL. On the field, Yvette was the first female footballer to play 100 games in Sydney, she also represented New South Wales four times and was in the SWAFL team of the decade. Yvette is a Life Member of AFL Sydney due to her enormous contribution to the growth of women’s football and is also one-half of the namesake for the AFL Sydney Women’s Division 2 Best & Fairest medal, named the “Andrews-Burgmann” medal. Yvette was also on the inaugural AFL National Women's Advisory Committee in 2002 and was on the GWS Giants women’s advisory committee when the Giants were establishing their AFLW team.
Lateesha Jeffrey - Northern Territory
Player, Captain and Under 18’s Assistant Coach Lateesha Jeffrey from Southern Districts has dedicated over ten years of service to the game, playing over 150 games of football, coached/ assistant coached youth girls at both local and state level, as well as play and captain the NT Thunder Women’s team. Lateesha has captained two sides at two different NTFL clubs and over the previous two seasons, led her team to back-to-back Grand Finals, winning the second in a historical match for the Southern Districts FC. Most recently, Lateesha Vice Captained the very first NTFL Representative team against Glenelg FC. Lateesha also dedicates her time to Women’s football in the Territory and is a fierce advocate for supporting Indigenous women in football.
Shona MacInnes - Victoria
Shona MacInnes has been involved with football since she was a young student at Melbourne University. Over the journey, Shona has taken on many roles to ensure the growth of female football within the VAFA, particularly in fundraising and events, match day roles and numerous volunteer roles where necessary. She has dedicated her time as a Board Member of Melbourne University Football Clubs, an advocate for the Melbourne University Women’s Football Club, a committee member and Club President at the Kew Comets Junior Football Club and more recently was appointed to the role of Women's Football Manager by the VAFA, where she established the VAFA Women's Competition from scratch.
Jodie Mather - Tasmania
Jodie Mather has been a long-time driver of Women's football in Tasmania, with her service spanning almost a decade. Jodie was one of the key drivers in developing a regional women's competition in Southern Tasmania (the SFLW) and has also been heavily involved in creating a junior and youth girls’ model to ensure female football in the state has a complete pathway. Over the years, she has enjoyed success as both a player and a coach- playing over 100 games, a two-time premiership playing coach and was the first female to win the Southern Football League’s Coach of the Year Award. Jodie is currently the Senior coach at Lindisfarne Football Club and her passion and commitment to the game as seen her become the voice of female football in Southern Tasmania.
Paul Modra - South Australia
Female Football Coordinator Paul Modra has dedicated over 30 years of his life to football. Since arriving at Edwardstown Football Club five years ago, Paul has worked tirelessly to develop the female football program from NAB AFL Auskick through to Junior Football. Paul has been at the forefront in providing a great environment for females and has held a number of roles in his time, including coach, NAB AFL Auskick volunteer, administrator, promotion, facilities, and coach/volunteering with numerous education programs. As an active Committee Member, Paul has also made sure that girls and female football is included in club development and strategy planning.