NEW Turvey Park president Simone Harmer says she is proud to be breaking new ground in the sport in the Riverina.
Harmer took over the presidency from Steven Marks at Turvey Park this week, answering the call as the club searched for a replacement.
It is believed Harmer is the first woman to take on the presidency of the AFL Riverina club.
Harmer is proud of that fact and also looking forward to the challenge ahead.
"I'm fortunate to carry on the presidents role from people like Terry Ness, Vinnie Carroll and most recently Steven Marks. These men worked tirelessly and gave everything during their time as president," Harmer said.
"I'm fortunate that I've got a large committee who are all happy to share the load and a senior coach who is professional and well respected.
"Gone are the days when women were just expected to work in the canteen and wash the jumpers. I would think that most footy clubs in the Riverina are filled with intelligent, passionate and hard-working women who could manage the president's role.
"I'm proud that Turvey Park are one of the first clubs in the Riverina to have faith in a woman to do the job and look forward to being a part of the next chapter."
Harmer's husband Andrew was a long-time player at Turvey Park and two of her sons, Cooper and Baxter, are currently playing at the club.
She spent 10 years on Turvey Park's junior committee, where she was treasurer and registrar, and has now been a member of the senior committee for six years.
While excited to take on the job, Harmer conceded there were some nerves as well.
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"It's a little bit daunting, the thought of (being the first woman)," she said.
"I've been in family businesses and around the management of businesses for a while so I sort of see the football club, from my perspective, it's a business that needs to be run. I'm confident that I can do that.
"Because it is a football club, I was a bit worried about the fact that I am a female but I've had different conversations with people and they were all confident that I had the ability to go ahead and do it."
Turvey Park were fighting for their survival seven years ago but have built back up to be among the stronger clubs in the Riverina League, particularly in player numbers.
Harmer said it was her ambition to help share the workload at the club, but to also end the seniors' 11-year finals drought and achieve the ultimate success.
"My ambition is to probably delegate more of the jobs out," she said.
"Other clubs seem to have the advantage of having long-serving people on the committee. They have that knowledge. I'm hoping to take away that there's three or four people doing the work all of the time so we delegate it out. Continue that big committee, have lots of hands helping and support (Mick Mazzocchi) to have success.
"It's been a long time. Our netball's always been really competitive and successful and our 17s over the last few years have been really successful as well. Our ressies have participated in finals it's just that senior team, we just need to get them into finals and hopefully get a flag for them."
Harmer paid tribute to the hard work Marks had put into improving facilities at Maher Oval in the past two years. She said the club was keen to continue that, starting with a new netball court.
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