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Making Football More Welcoming with The Outer Sanctum

Taking back the game we love - Making Football More Welcoming with The Outer Sanctum

 The pale, male, staleness of football is being challenged. Find out how The Outer Sanctum is changing how we talk about footy – including the voices of women, and those who rarely get attention – speaking to the fans who’ve often felt excluded due to the sexism, racism and homophobia in football.

CLICK PLAY  to listen to my conversation with Nicole and Kate from The Outer Sanctum podcast

Episode 31 Overview

I have a confession to make. I love footy shows. I cannot get enough of them, as they dissect seemingly every move of each game in the AFL, the Australian Football League.

And yet I’ve always found the straight, white blokiness of most of these footy shows, problematic.

Whilst there’s occasional nods to diversity or diversity-related issues – they’re never central to these shows.

Then I discovered ‘The Outer Sanctum’ podcast. I took it out with me on my Friday morning walk around the neighborhood, and it’s been a regular companion since then.

It’s a show that’s defied my expectations, giving space to voices rarely heard in the mainstream sports media and consistently tackling issues of racism, sexism, and homophobia within the AFL.

The Outer Sanctum Podcast fires me up. It intrigues me and draws me in. It makes me laugh. In a time, where hate-related speech dominates the landscape, it makes me happy and fills me with hope.

So I was pretty stoked when I had the chance to chat to two of the six presenters – from the Outer Sanctum Podcast. They’re part of a changing sports landscape that is making football more welcoming to a more diverse mix of Australians. 

Show Guests

Nicole Hayes and Kate Seear, two of the hosts of The Outer Sanctum Podcast

Episode Run-down

▪ Kate and Nicole introduce themselves

▪ Why inclusion matters to The Outer Sanctum

▪ Getting beyond “pale, male and stale” in footy (Kim Toffoletti quote)

▪ Grassroots change: How everyday people are making their sporting clubs more inclusive

▪ Using our privilege to bring about change

▪ Kick n Coffee: Learning footy skills we were never taught

▪ Feeling comfortable in our skin – in sport

▪ Why a focus on relationships (with sport) is so important.

  • Moving from exclusion to making football more welcoming

▪ Why ‘the personal is political’ in sport

▪ The power of independent media for diverse voices

▪ Why listening to diverse voices is crucial

The Lightning Round: Inner versus outer in football, diverse voices, participation, privilege

From excluded to included: women taking back football

Key People and Organisations Mentioned

You may not know some of the people and organisations we discuss in this episode, here’s the key links to help you.

Adam Goodes is a former AFL player for the Sydney Swans and an Australian of the Year. He consistently spoke up about Indigenous rights, history, and well-being. In the latter part of his career Adam regularly experienced racism from football fans

Jason Ball became well known in Victoria, Australia when he came out as a gay footballer.  

Caroline Wilson and Sam Lane are sports journalists who often write about social and cultural issues in the AFL.

▪ Gillon McLachlan is the Chief Executive Officer of the AFL.

Dr Kim Tofoletti is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Deakin University

▪ The ‘Muggers’ are the Melbourne University Women’s Football Club.

▪ Bridget Barker is the Manager of Diversity and Inclusion at North Melbourne Football Club and coaches the Melbourne University’s Women’s Football Club. Bridget was the AFL Football Woman of the Year, in the Emerging Leader category in 2015.

Episode Links

▪ CHECK OUT my Physical Education and Sports Resources with a Social Justice edge page

▪ READ my ‘Falling in and out of love with footy‘ post – inspired by the Outer Sanctum’s ‘how’s your relationship with footy?’ segment

▪ READ THE BOOK – ‘From The Outer: Footy like you’ve never heard it‘ by Nicole Hayes and Alicia Sometimes

▪ FIND OUT ABOUT – Kick N Coffee – Article by Alexandra Laskie and photos of the event by Sue Osborne


Falling in and out of love with footy - Making Football More Welcoming

Making Football More Welcoming – Resources

Check out my Upstanders Post for links to people and organisations that are all about inclusivity in Australian Rules Football. 

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▪ Thanks for listening and your ongoing support.

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