T hrough my work, I get to meet some truly inspiring board directors.
With the football season starting to warm up with the first women’s game happening soon at the new Optus Stadium in Perth, I thought it would be a great time to introduce you to Kristi Annear, Director on the Perth Demons Football Club. We met a few months ago at a workshop that brought together all the female directors serving on football boards. I was struck by her passion and authenticity and I’m so glad that I can share her answers with you here.
Why did you get involved in a football club board?
Football has always been a huge part of my life. I’m a Fremantle Dockers Member (tragic) and a huge supporter of where AFL is heading alongside AFLW. I myself have retired from sport so what better way to still have that community and team feeling than being in the heart of a WAFL club. I contacted the CEO at the PFC to ask how I could contribute and do some volunteering. He saw the passion I have for not only footy but all sports so he asked me to join the Board.
Can you give me a snapshot of the decisions/activities are you involved with as a board director?
I am the Events and Charity Partnerships Director so I am responsible for all the Football events held at the club and also game day. A few of the events held at the club are our Annual Gala Auction which is our largest fundraiser for the season, this year I organized the Inaugural PFC Cup (Virtual Horse Race Day) and we have our Supporters Luncheon and Sponsors night to come.
I have been involved with Ronald McDonald House for many years now so a priority of mine when I came on the Board was to keep, in some way, supporting the House. It just happened at the time that the club was looking for a Major Charity Partner so my suggestion of RMH was supported unanimously. We are proud to be the only WAFL club to have this partnership and look forward to continuing this for many years to come.
I have also helped bring a Victorian based player welfare program to WA. Outside The Locker Room is about engaging and education sporting clubs in Mental Health and the affects that alcohol and drugs have on this. We are running this program through our club and are seeing the results already. I’m very passionate about mental health and am proud to be contributing in a small way.
Aside from my portfolio I am involved in all decisions that affect the club. Our Board is very open about all aspects of the running of the club from staff appointments and off field football decisions to finance and marketing. This has given me a great insight into how a professional club is run and I look forward to enhancing my knowledge and experience so I can continue to be a valued member on a football board for many years to come.
What strategies would you recommend to others interested in serving on a football club board?
Broaden your network. As we all know Perth is a small place when it comes to knowing someone who knows that ‘someone’. Get to football games, follow clubs on social media and put your hand up. We have a Women in Football and Women in Sport Group which is always open to more ladies wanting to be involved. I think it’s great to come to a Board with experience in several areas but you need passion. Being a Board Director isn’t a once a month commitment so if you don’t have passion for the sport, the club and its supporters then it will be a very long season!
– Thanks Kristi for sharing your experience!
If you’d like to be interviewed about your board or leadership journey, please send me an email.