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From 1 to 50: pioneer Roy Girl shows the way

05-Apr-2019

Lauren Atkinson is known to many as Jacky Fowler. But as the Bard says, ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ and whatever we call her, we recognise her essential integrity, determination and grace on the field.
 

Lauren Atkinson has notched up a run of firsts on her way to 50 games for the Roy Girls.

She played in the first-ever women’s game for Fitzroy – after attending just one training session.

She went on to kick the first-ever score, with her single point turning out to be the only score the Roys registered that day.

Later in the season Lauren played in the inaugural Hipster Cup, a night game at Vic Park, something she rates as pretty special.

Things have come a long way since those early days five years ago, and Lauren has been there to experience all the highs and lows.

“I just love the community vibe and the rich history of the Fitzroy Football Club,” she says. “It’s also great being surrounded by so many strong, incredible girls, and I like the level of competition.

“I couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else!”

We should probably point to some occasions when Lauren has come second, and that’s been when she’s earned second-best-on-ground honours – as a result of being thrown down back to negate renowned forwards. And, it must be said, performing her job admirably, keeping her opponents to miserly totals.

Most of you would also know that Lauren is the youngest Atkinson in the Fitzroy branch of the family and younger sister of Reserves’ captain Jack. And wouldn’t be surprised that, when asked to pinpoint a highlight, she nominates playing with sister Chrissie.

“It was pretty fun getting to play with my sister, especially back in 2016 when we played in the midfield together,” she says. “Other than that, I loved playing with my fellow backliners Luci Murphy, Claudia Bell, Emma Delaney and Lenny Hayes last year.”

Exceeding everyone’s expectations and making the grand final in their second season ever also rates a mention.

“And I’ll never be able to forget everyone forming a circle to cry and sing ‘Torn’ together after losing our final in 2017.”

The origin of Lauren Atkinson’s nickname is shrouded in mystery but one thing’s for sure: however we refer to her, she’ll be one to watch this season as she takes the field on her first foray towards another fifty fabulous games.

Go Jacky Fowler! Go Roy Girls!

The Fitzroy Football Club would also like to congratulate Lauren’s former teammates Frankie Freeman and Susie Worthington who, pending selection, will be celebrating 50 VAFA games when they run out for the North Brunswick Bulls on Saturday.

Photo: Lauren Atkinson, a perfect balance of elegance and strength


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