Nova 100’s Ashleigh Gardner: Newsreader, footballer

Women’s participation in Aussie rules football has boomed over the past few years and has become one of the fastest growing women’s sports.

At footy grounds around the country, more and more women are pulling on the footy boots and Nova 100 breakfast newsreader Ashleigh Gardner is one of those women, who are giving it a go.

Training twice a week with the Murrumbeena Football and Netball club, she’s been selected to play her first game tomorrow in the Southern Football League’s division one.

“I got into footy because I wanted to play a team sport. My sister Jess played AFLW for the Western Bulldogs last year and she’s playing for Richmond in the women’s VFL this year, so I’ve been to a heap of her games.”

“It seemed like something that’d be a lot of fun and sure enough, it was awesome. I went along to footy training and absolutely loved it.”  

As for injuries, there’s been a few with Ashleigh coming to work sporting a range of post training bumps, bruises and sprains.

“I’ve copped a black eye at training and a pelvic strain early in the pre-season, but I think that was an underlying thing that had been around for a while. There’s been nothing too major, but we’ll see on Monday after round one!!”

Nova 100 has gotten on board as Ashleigh’s sponsor, while triple premiership player and former Brisbane Lion’s skipper Jonathan Brown has offered her some pre-game advice.

UPDATE 30/4/17:

Pulling on the footy boots for the first time for Murrumbeena division one on Saturday afternoon, Gardner kicked two goals.

In fact, she was one of 12 goal kickers as Murrumbeena smashed Bentleigh 187 to nil.

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