The AFLW competition has exploded into the Australian sporting landscape over the past two years, and as a result, the players have been thrown into the spotlight and have become role models and leaders to a new legion of fans.
In order to better equip these players to meet the demands presented in front of them, the AFL Players’ Association and leading professional services firm KPMG Australia have developed a pilot Leadership and Mentoring program that aims to prepare the players for the newfound challenges that the competition has brought to their lives.
The program, ‘From the change room to the boardroom,’ was supported and developed by KPMG Partner Rachel Milum and KPMG Director Scott Draper, who is a former Australian professional tennis player and golfer, and was focused on improving the players’ public relations and presenting skills, personal development, and the mindset to allow them to thrive in their new environment both on and off the field.
AFL Players’ Association CEO, Paul Marsh, is delighted to have joined forces with an industry leader like KPMG Australia to better equip the female members of the association.
“One of the mantras of the AFLPA is to maximise your opportunities whilst you play the game, and this is a great opportunity for the girls to learn from the best of the best,” Marsh said.
“The mentoring program allows players to find out what KPMG Australia has to offer and the girls will see this as a huge opportunity to learn more about business, which will help to feed into their life during and after football.”
Melbourne captain and AFLPA board member, Daisy Pearce, was on-hand to learn from Draper, and took part in the mentoring program.
“Our natural leadership tendencies in football have just been what we’ve picked up a long the way in an informal sense,” Pearce said.
“So to be able to do some formal training and work out how we can use that in a really influential way and have an impact on and off the field will be really beneficial.”
The program includes a series of leadership workshops with three players from each AFLW club and involved KPMG utilising its diagnostic tools to build individuals self-awareness, describe their core values and motivations, and help them build interpersonal skills required for leadership positions.
To complement the leadership workshops, an AFLW player was also paired with a Senior Manager or Director from different divisions across the KPMG business to act as the role of a mentor. The mentors will provide the players with impartial guidance and support from the corporate world and vice versa — the KPMG staff will compare transferrable skills from the sporting arena.