Recently crowned AFLW Best and Fairest winner Kiara Bowers feels ‘fortunate’ to have the support off the field that helps her to continue to be at her best on it.
It’s well documented the rigours that AFLW players face while juggling football and external work commitments.
It also highlights the need to have supportive employers providing flexibility when it comes to training, game day and travelling interstate.
Bowers has found that support in her role as a carpenter at Fleetwood, which helps her continue to play football at an elite level.
Bowers was recognised at a Fleetwood event last week celebrating her AFLCA Coaches’ award win and to acknowledge her contribution to the company.
Fleetwood’s WA & SA Operations Manager Darryl Marshall said they were fortunate to have Bowers on their side.
“Kiara is an invaluable member of the Fleetwood team, she’s a fantastic team member & never fails to put in the hard yards to get the job done,” Marshall said.
“She’s a shining example of the talent, work ethic and positive attitude consistently shown by our team.
“We will continue to do everything we can to support her ongoing success in the AFLW.”
Blazing the pathway for female apprentices at Fleetwood, Bowers said she loved being part of the team.
“It was while I was injured that I decided to train as a carpenter,” Bowers told Stellar Magazine.
“I’d been a sales representative for a while, but I had this desire to work with my hands and I ended up being the first female apprentice with Fleetwood construction.
“At football, I’m surrounded by a bunch of women, but at Fleetwood I’m the only female in the whole yard.
“It was daunting at first – I was nervous about whether some of the guys would say, ‘I don’t want this girl on my team.’
“But once I started working, I quickly learnt that I was wrong and that everyone treated me just the same.
“It’s a great team and we all get along so well. I think being able to banter about footy in our breaks probably helps too!”
Fremantle are fortunate to have a number of employers that support our players off the field, allowing them to pursue the highest pinnacle in their football careers.