The Weekly Advertiser Horsham
Langley’s historic appointment
Rosemary Langley is making history as the first woman to earn election as Horsham District Football Netball League’s chair.
Mrs Langley has taken the top job after two years on the board.
She said it was ‘fantastic’ to become the first woman to take the position.
“We have a female-prominent board at this time and there are plenty of female presidents and committee members throughout clubs, which is great,” she said.
“To me, I don’t see it as any great leap of faith or leap forward because I have been president of Harrow-balmoral previously.
“I think the majority of people accept that if you can do that role, you do it — it doesn’t matter what gender or faith or anything. If you’re there for the right reasons, people will accept you.”
Mrs Langley said her vision for 2023 was stronger clubs and more juniors for both football and netball codes.
“We are over the COVID bump, so I am hoping to see clubs get stronger and more kids being able to play more games, as we had a few teams missing last season,” she said.
“I want us to be communicating with the clubs so we’re all on the same page as much as possible.
“It is fairly daunting to be in the role, but I have a lot of good people around me. We’re very lucky our clubs are good to work with and I think we can all work through 2023 together.
“I’m not afraid to ask if I don’t know something and there’s some good mechanisms around us.”
Mrs Langley said a declining volunteer base and participation rate continued to challenge clubs.
“We’re trying to make sure clubs don’t end up with volunteer burnout — that’s a big one,” she said.
“We are all volunteers and sport is such an important part of all our communities that we need to keep going, but burnout and declining numbers are something we are going to have to watch.
“Keeping participation rates up is another challenge.
“I think people have realised, with time off during COVID, that they want more time off each week and priorities have shifted, so we have to keep people engaged.”
Mrs Langley said her drive for community sport came from the people she met.
“That’s what I love about community sport — the communities it brings together,” she said.
“It’s more than just the club people that you might be involved with; it is when you get together with opposition clubs and see people who have a connection through a love of sport.
“We are in a rural area and I think that’s a positive for our league — seeing people, having a chat, catching up once or twice a year and building those friendships over the years. That’s what drives me.”