23 February 2024 · Community News

Empowering Women in AFL: The Morningside Panthers' Journey with Downtown Toyota

In a remarkable celebration of community and sport, the Morningside Panthers, supported by Downtown Toyota, have embarked on an exciting new chapter in women's Australian Rules Football (AFL). This year marks a significant milestone as the Panthers AFL Women’s Excellence Program was launched, a beacon of empowerment and opportunity for female athletes in the sport. 

A Legacy of Excellence and Community Spirit

The Morningside Panthers have long been at the heart of Queensland's AFL community. With over seven decades of dedication to fostering talent and promoting inclusivity, the club's commitment to both youth and senior football has been unwavering. The recent collaboration with Downtown Toyota, extending a 38-year partnership, underscores a shared vision for the future of women in AFL—a future where talent, passion, and dedication are nurtured and celebrated. 

Liam Gaskin, Downtown Toyota Principal, reflected on the partnership's evolution, emphasizing the club's central role, "The Panthers' inclusive ethos and commitment to excellence perfectly align with our vision for supporting women in AFL. We are honoured to be part of this significant chapter in the club's history." 

Championing the AFL Women’s Excellence Program

The launch of the AFL Women’s Excellence Program is a testament to the Panthers' innovative approach to supporting female athletes. This initiative is designed to provide a holistic support system for women in AFL, encompassing training, education, and leadership opportunities. It’s a strategic effort to break down barriers and create an environment where female talent can thrive. 

"The program is a game-changer," states Paul Mazoletti, Morningside Chair. "It’s about more than just football; it’s about creating leaders on and off the field. With Downtown Toyota's support, we can offer our players unparalleled opportunities for growth." 

A Community United in Celebration

The enthusiasm for the Women’s AFL Excellence Program and the Panthers' role in championing women's AFL was palpable at the recent launch event. Community members, local officials, and sports enthusiasts came together to celebrate this milestone. City Councilor Lucy Collier, offering her insights, captured the essence of this collective effort, "I know that the partnership between the Panthers and Downtown Toyota will mean that more young girls and women get to realize their dreams, and be the best AFL players they can be. I’ve seen first-hand how the long-standing support of Downtown Toyota has made a real difference in our community for the better, so I am beyond thrilled to see it expand and continue." 

As the Morningside Panthers prepare for their upcoming participation in the Bond University QAFLW competition in 2025, the sense of anticipation and excitement for the future of women's AFL within the community is undeniable. This step forward is not just about sport; it’s about building a legacy of empowerment, resilience, and community spirit. 

Downtown Toyota is proud to stand with the Morningside Panthers as they lead the way in advancing women's AFL. Together, we're not just supporting a sport; we're investing in the dreams and aspirations of female athletes across our community. Here's to the Panthers, their vision, and the bright future ahead for women in AFL.