Jane Lynch's Journey: Empowering Women in Football Leadership

Meet Jane Lynch, a passionate football enthusiast who has recently embarked on a transformative journey as part of the Women's Leadership Program. With a deep-rooted love for the beautiful game and a desire to drive change within the industry, Jane's experience highlights the importance of empowering women in football leadership roles. As one of many women joining the program in 2023, she joined the Women's Leadership Program to delve deeper into what it takes to empower women involved in football to have a stronger, more positive influence on the sport.

A Love for the Game:

Jane's connection with football started at a young age when she joined a local team in Sydney's Padstow Park under-6s division. Guided by her older brother, cousin, and father, Jane spent two years honing her skills and developing a genuine passion for the sport. However, when her family moved to Old Bar, her love for football faced an unexpected challenge.

Breaking Barriers and Returning to the Game:

In 1992, Jane's registration with Old Bar Barbarians made her the first girl to join the club. Overcoming initial resistance, the club's determination to embrace change paved the way for future generations of female players. While Jane explored other sports during her primary school years, she eventually found her way back to football in year 9. Inspired by friends who had formed a women's team, she rejoined the sport that held a special place in her heart. 

From Player to Coach:

Since her return to football, Jane's involvement has evolved from player to coach. Her coaching journey began when she decided to support her niece's under-6s team in 2004. Since then, she has continuously coached teams across various age groups, both male and female, at club and representative levels. Jane's coaching experiences have provided her with a sense of fulfilment, serving as an outlet when she could no longer play at the desired level.

The Love for the Underdog:

Jane's affinity for football extends beyond the game itself; she admires the underdog spirit it represents. As an underdog in the Australian sporting landscape, football's ability to unite people from diverse backgrounds and abilities resonates with her deeply. She embraces the opportunity to witness and support football's rise in popularity and prominence across the country.

Applying for the Women's Leadership Program Scholarship:

Motivated by the current advancements in Australian football, including the success of the Socceroos and the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, Jane applied for a scholarship to undertake the Women's Leadership Program. As the President of Taree Old Bar Surf Club and a coach within an elite football program, she recognises the significant challenges women face in leadership positions and aims to contribute to breaking the glass ceiling, both in football and her community.

Aspirations and Expectations:

Through the Women's Leadership Program, Jane hopes to gain confidence in her abilities, expand her knowledge base, and cultivate the necessary skills to make informed decisions and lead with conviction. She recognises that building confidence will enable her to contribute effectively to the growth and development of football in Australia, fostering an inclusive environment where women can thrive. 

Jane Lynch's story exemplifies the passion, determination, and commitment of women involved in football leadership. Her journey from player to coach and her active involvement in various capacities highlight the transformative power of football. Through the Women's Leadership Program, Jane seeks to amplify her impact and play a significant role in shattering the glass ceiling in football and her community. As the program unfolds, Jane's self-discovery and growth will undoubtedly inspire other women to pursue leadership roles within the football industry and beyond.

The Women's Leadership Program is part of the NSW Football Legacy Program - a $10 million investment from the NSW Government. The program seeks to support female football through new community facilities, participation initiatives, development programs as well as tourism and international engagement.

More information about the NSW Football Legacy Fund is available here.