Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.

Jess Hayes Fitzroy-ACU Senior Women's Captain's Diary: Vol 2 - Roys in isolation


I write to you today, from my literal corner, situated at my makeshift desk, that doubles as a food prep station, our kitchen table and storage bench. The transition to working from home life has been smooth and my ability to roll out of bed at 8.30am and start work at 8.45 is my new favourite thing. Its 9.10am and I have my wonderful year 7 class. We start every class with their three good things, moments over week that have made students experience gratitude, their thankful moments. As they are busy writing things like a new basketball hoopand my dogI reflect on what I am thankful for. Of course there is the sleeping in every morning that may become a terrible habit, but this week I have decided to write about my three good things in relation to the Roys, my favourite group of humans;

I am grateful for the club

I am sure that all of you are aware, we are a part of something special. Fitzroy is a place where anyone from anywhere is included. Within the first week of the dreaded No football for the foreseeable futureI had received and sent messages to and from coaches, players and board members, all of us with the one purpose - ensuring we stay connected through these strange times. Whether that be the message from the wonderful VP David Leydon to check in, the amazing RedRoys that Kasey has been pumping out to keep us all connected or Pickers and the wellbeing group who are working overtime to provide us with relevant resources and strategies to manage this time. I am grateful for a club that sticks together through a tough time, making its player and supporters wellbeing a priority. One thing that I cannot stress enough FFC is here for you, in whatever means possible.

I am grateful for the leadership and guidance

I completed a VIA character quiz at the beginning of the year, and leadership came through as my top strength. I can see that it is one of my strengths, but the question remained: How do you lead a group of humans out on an oval when they have to be 1.5m apart, only two of you out there, and you should probably sanitise between disposals of the football? The answer? Collaborate with a group of people who can help to change your way of thinking about leadership. I am grateful for the men's and women's leadership groups, as well as all coaches. The ideas that have come from these groups have been incredible, ideas that will work to keep building on our pre-season fitness as well as our connection, firstly as teammates, secondly as a whole club.

I am grateful for the Roy Girls

I am very good at going on rants about how much I love and appreciate the Roy Girls. And this will be no different. The group of women I get to run out on the field with are also the group of women I dont feel isolated from, even though we are currently in isolation. Sam Hood and her running programs have inspired me to keep running, which is no easy feat. Pip, Rach Z and Teish with their amazing dishes in our cooking challenges have encouraged me to continue to eat healthy. The girls who attended our crafternoon and their abilities to draw and paint and colour remind me that creativity cannot be dimmed in lockdown. The amazing Pia and her domination of any and all movement challenges. Luci Murphy and her match reviews. The pandemic profiles and memes that have made me laugh and the banter in our player chat. Our check-in groups where we chat about life and all things non-COVID have kept me sane.

But mostly seeing everyones faces in the virtual world on Zoom when we have our training sessions For all these things, I am so thankful to be a part of such a community that sticks together through the non-footy times that can be a little rough.

These three things are so important to my own personal wellbeing at the moment. But the thing that I am the most grateful for is footy. Footy has managed to bring all of us together and I am sure that footy will be back before we know it. For now, we support each other and make sure we stay connected. Because connection is how we will come out of this strong and ready for a cracker of a season.

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