Julie Porter still has it.
When the weekend comes around in football season, you will find 55-year-old Julie – the oldest player in her competition – lacing up her boots to get on the park long after many have moved to the sidelines.
As with many Australians, Porter’s introduction to football was through her kids.
“I first got involved to support my children who were playing,” she remembered. “Now football is my life; I live and breathe it!”
“Each year a group of my friends and myself play in a Masters’ Football Carnival in Maryborough QLD, most of us are aged well over 40 and we build life time memories on and off the pitch.
“My circle of friends is all football players, coaches or supporters and we have many a BBQ on the deck where we relive game day, play by play, blow by blow.”
Playing football in regional Queensland has kept Porter young. As a player, coach and administrator, Julie not only finds herself up against players in their teens but also playing alongside them, including her own daughter.
“My heart swelled with pride when I was able to take to the field this year playing on the same team as my 14-year-old daughter. She is a much better player than I ever was!” Porter exclaimed.
“I learnt from an early stage that in my 40s and 50s I would be playing against women much younger and in their prime. This has instilled a "never give up" attitude that I hope I have passed on to my daughter.”
Those young players she lines up alongside, and against, are the reason Porter “accepted the challenge” of becoming a Community Bid Champion. Working towards the limitless future that would result from bringing the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ to Australia is something she is very passionate about.
“I believe the flow-on effect to grassroots football would be tremendous,” she said.
“I foresee a major increase in junior female participation especially from those aged 10 to 12 years. It would also mean that those current female players who are deciding whether to major in football or another code, are likely to see this as encouragement to sign for football.”
As a player who took up football later in life, she also believes that the visibility to football, particularly women’s football, that a FIFA Women’s World Cup™ would bring is crucial.
“By promoting women's football, we are giving our young girls a stage to aim for.”