JMF calls time on inequality for the Women’s World Cup

As the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off John Moriarty Football (JMF) and GoFundMe have launched the Indigenous Footballers Call Time on Inequality campaign to address the lack of Indigenous football players at the elite levels of the game, and raise funds to tackle the disparity they face.

As it stands, JMF says it has seen no evidence of funding for grassroots Indigenous football programs to increase participation, ensure equitable access to the game or create meaningful social change within the $291 million (as at March 2023) ‘Legacy ‘23’ initiative – a plan that is backed by Federal & State Governments to grow women’s football.

JMF is the country’s longest running and most successful Indigenous football initiative, with more than 2,000 Indigenous girls and boys across 23 public schools in 19 remote and regional communities in NSW, NT and QLD participating in the program.

JMF’s transformational and holistic skills program has a track record of improving school attendance and achieving resilient, healthier outcomes for Indigenous children in some of Australia’s remotest and most disadvantaged communities.

The goal of the Indigenous Footballers Call Time on Inequality campaign is to increase the reach of JMF’s community-led grassroots program and through football change the lives of a generation of Indigenous girls and boys who dream to represent their country at the highest level.

John Moriarty, Yanyuwa Man, Co-Founder of Moriarty Foundation and the first Indigenous footballer to be selected to play for Australia, says: “The Women’s World Cup presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a legacy for Indigenous football in Australia and invest in solutions that will result in exponential social change and ensure equitable access to football for grassroots and elite Indigenous players.

“Indigenous players have to fight that much harder just to have the same opportunities as non-Indigenous players and those living in remote and regional communities also face extreme financial disadvantage, high unemployment and housing challenges. Yet we know how much talent these Indigenous footballers have.

“Football has the power to be a game-changer for Indigenous children and their communities. These children have the passion and the drive. Now is the time to level the playing field by reaching even more children, more communities and empowering the next generation of Indigenous football players.There needs to be increased investment in solutions that will lead to impactful social change and ensure equal access to football for both grassroots and elite Indigenous players.”

The funds raised will go towards giving more young Indigenous footballers access to appropriate boots and gear, assisting young Indigenous footballers to travel and compete in tournaments, ensuring Indigenous children can attend free football clinics during the school holidays, and creating more JMF scholarships to foster Indigenous football talent and grow Indigenous representation at the elite levels of the game.

Nicola Britton, Regional Director at GoFundMe Australia, reaffirms this: “Every day at GoFundMe we witness first-hand the impact of grassroots-led programs that aim to close the health and wealth gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. We therefore deeply understand the impact that any contribution to John Moriarty Football and its Indigenous football initiative will have on ensuring that funding is the only blocker preventing us from seeing more Indigenous Australians represented in football.

“To drive meaningful change, we need to fund advocacy and initiatives that get to the heart of the issue, led by those who deeply understand the impact of the investment on the beneficiaries.”

 

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