As we celebrate Female Football Week, Football Queensland has launched the Women’s Football Champions initiative to shine a light on the unsung community heroes who have gone above and beyond for women and girls in our game.
Regardless of age, gender or location, the Women’s Football Champions are all recognised as doing great things to support, develop and deliver opportunities for women and girls within our state’s footballing family.
- Women’s Football Champion #1 – Teresa Littlemore
- Women’s Football Champion #2 – Debbie Caldwell
- Women’s Football Champion #3 – Lynda Arkinstall
Each chosen individual is being profiled on Football Queensland’s website and social media channels, and will be invited to attend a special event in relation to the centenary season of women’s football in Queensland.
The fourth of our Women’s Football Champions is Trina Elkington, the women’s technical director at Coolum FC in the Football Queensland Sunshine Coast zone.
Elkington, 53, began her football career as a player at Coolum and has since served in a variety of roles on the Sunshine Coast. With four decades of experience in the game, she has witnessed football’s transition from a male-dominated sport to one that all Queenslanders enjoy.
“My parents are from England and it was kind of a ‘Pommie’ thing to be interested in football,” said Elkington.
“Now, some of these girls really know how to play. I think the success of the Matildas and the W-League have introduced a different style of football. When I first played, you just ran with the ball and hoped for the best. Whereas now, its actually good to watch. I love watching the women play.”
Elkington was nominated as a Women’s Football Champion by club treasurer, Dave McGree, who describes her as “the heart and soul” of the club.
“She has worked tirelessly for years as the senior women’s coach at the club, and last year she single-handedly created a junior program which has been enormously successful,” said McGree.
“She is always involved in organising and is such a positive role model to the girls of all ages.”
This season Coolum FC has two junior women’s teams and a third division ladies side in the local competition. Elkington is keen to ensure that the junior and senior players are working together to grow women’s football and create an inclusive atmosphere at her club.
“I always try and promote my ladies to help out in the junior side of things, and they’ve been a great help,” she said.
“We’ve had the little ones involved in our senior games as well, because the kids look up to the women. We get them involved in some of our home games – they help us warm up and then at halftime they come over and listen to our team chat.”
Although Elkington admits there are times when she misses being out in the middle of the park, she is adamant that volunteering in football can be just as much fun as playing.
“I would love to still play, even at my age, but I just can’t do it,” she said. “I had to stop playing in my mid-20s due to a bad back injury. I still wanted to be involved and thought I was too young to give up a sport that I love, so that’s when the coaching side of things took over.
“Coolum is not a big club and nobody gets paid there, we just do it because we love it. I’ve just had a ball with football.”
Visit the Female Football Week page to read more about how FQ is celebrating in 2021 and to see a list of upcoming events.