Added: Marylou Tibbs - Date: 10.12.2021 10:34 - Views: 29185 - Clicks: 7054
Sometimes, the only way to get noticed is to be controversial, to be out of the ordinary. Stir it up, cause a fuss, rip up the rule book and watch the masses react. In the autumn ofKatrina Boyd and her teammates assembled at the Australian Institute of Sport for a photo shoot they all knew would make headlines. Though they were international athletes, for the majority of players it was a struggle to work, train and survive. There were no sponsors, few fans, and little money to be made from the beautiful game. The solution?
After a seed was sown at a boozy party in12 players agreed to pose nude for a black and white calendar which would go on sale in December of that year. As she waited for her turn to be photographed, she seated herself on the stage and made idle chit-chat with the photographer to pass away the time.
That she was naked was of little concern to the-then year-old.
Some girls would shower in their bras and undies and those sorts of girls would never put themselves on the calendar. There were full frontal poses, no props hiding breasts. Needless to say, the press conference for the launch of the calendar was packed with journalists. A free trip to a massage parlor with every season ticket? According to reports, the original print run of 5, copies was increased to 45, on the strength of pre-publication publicity.
There were those who argued that women should not have to use their bodies to sell their sport, let alone to raise funds to represent their country. But the players themselves believed they were portraying images of strong, powerful women.
That would still happen today. We were more surprised by how much people were into it, but half of them were blokes, of course. That was just a given. Boyd and her contemporaries grew up in an Australia where there was no financial reward for its female footballers. Against such a backdrop, profits from what proved to be an in-demand calendar would have helped the Matildas focus more on football in an Olympic year, but according to Boyd they received little financial reward for their efforts.
But the calendar certainly put the Matildas on the map. A reported 10, fans watched the Matildas play China at the Sydney Football Stadium in June for an Olympic warm-up match — but two defeats and a draw at Sydney meant the hosts did not progress beyond the group stages. Thereafter, interest in the team began to drop.
We were never in a position to throw out a massive calendar like that and also back it up on the field. Recognition for female footballers. They ARE feminine. But it has been a long road. Four years ago they became the first Australian team to win a knockout match at a World Cup when they defeated Brazil in the last 16 in Canada and the country took notice.
She is ruthless in front of goal and prolific, last year collecting her second consecutive golden boot in both leagues. The interest in the team from the last World Cup to now is day and night. A recent AusPlay survey said more thangirls and women played football, which it said was the most popular organized sport in the country.
Increased participation and media coverage unsurprisingly comes on the back of unprecedented success. In a first victory over three-time world champions the US made the world sit up and take notice as the Matildas captured the Tournament of Nations. Visit CNN Sport for more news and videos. Progress has not been a continuous upward curve, however. There has been upheaval this year. Alen Stajci was sacked as head coach in January and replaced by Ante Milicic and in the buildup to France have been poor, with the team suffering a defeat to the Netherlands on Saturday.
Will it be this time around? We just had to go through what we went through.
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