Karen Parsons – Pittwater President

In December, Karen Parsons was announced as the new President of Pittwater RSL FC. Image supplied.

For International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting women who are achieving great things in the Manly Warringah FA community. We spoke to new Pittwater RSL FC President Karen Parsons about how she moved into the role and what she is looking forward to for this season.

Karen has only been with Pittwater for two years, but in that time she has been an Age Coordinator, a Registrar and a Grading Coordinator (two roles that she still holds), as well as an Acting Vice President. This combination of duties led to a situation where she felt ready for the Club President role, despite her relatively short time with the club.

“We knew that Ben Collock was going to be leaving the role (of President) towards the end of the year, because he had his second child on the way. There was a lot of conversation as to who was going to take over. As I was already speaking to most people across the club, it seemed like the right time for me to put my hand up.”

Karen is working hard to familiarise herself with how the club operates, which involves making contact with Pittwater members of all ages.

“Being a parent of young children, I understand the youth and the junior side of the club very well. I don’t play, so the challenge is getting a good understanding of the seniors and what their frustrations are.”

2024 is Pittwater’s 60th Anniversary season, and planning is already well underway as the club prepares to mark a massive milestone in their history.

“We are currently in discussions with Pittwater RSL as to what major events we will be running throughout the season. You’ll see lots of things down at Kitchener Park reflecting those 60 years. We’ve also put up a history page on our website for this year.”

As women’s football continues to grow, Karen is thrilled to see growth across the entirety of Pittwater’s girls & women’s programme. At the time of the interview, Pittwater have an additional 132 player registrations compared to the same time in 2023 – 117 of those additional players are female. Last year, Pittwater had a 64% male / 36% female split in their player base. This year, the split is 59% male / 41% female.

“What excites me about this season is the uptake that we’ve had in our female members. The new girls competition for U7s has been massive for us, we’ve got five teams in that division.

“We have an increase in teams throughout every single girls & women’s age group. You tend to lose female members as they hit 13 or 14 years old, but we’ve retained players in our W14 age groups and we’ve got an additional team in our W18s this year.

“One of our WAL teams is a group of mums all playing socially. I think every member of that team is over the age of 35, they’re mums who are coming together to embrace the sport that they love and they still have an opportunity to play at a competitive level as well, which is fantastic.”


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