It’s a warm Saturday arvo. You’ve had a hard week at work, you’ve done your weekend chores, and now you’re keen to kick back and relax with your family and friends. What better way than heading down to the local footy grounds to take in a game? Because let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like the buzz of adrenaline you get from a local footy match. You’re not just cheering (or booing) your heroes (or villains) on the field, but your friends, your neighbours, your auntie’s cousin’s daughter. 

And if you’re in Port Hedland, there’s a good chance that you’ll know one of the players representing the Hedland Blazers.

Having existed for about five years, the Blazers are Hedland’s first women’s AFL team. In 2021 they joined the North Pilbara Football league, and in the same year made the grand final. They hold a strong connection with the Hedland Reds junior competition, allowing the girls a pathway up from junior footy.

There’s also support from the Hedland Rovers, the local senior league club, which means for the girls in Hedland there’s a game to play from the ages of six to 45.

In remote communities, having a footy team not only creates a wonderful activity for spectators, it brings a source of pride and companionship to all – on and off the field. 

Joining a sports team builds resilience, self-esteem, promotes a healthy lifestyle, and perhaps the most important thing, sparks friendships that last a lifetime. 

Long dominated by men, having a women’s footy team is bringing afresh change across the regions. It’s extremely important, especially in remote communities such as Port Hedland to have opportunities for females playing football. 

There are five major league teams in the Pilbara that all come together every Saturday to not only play football, but to help bring the whole community something to cheer on. 

So it’s back to your Saturday arvo. Next time they’re playing, make sure you take a stroll down to Colin Matheson oval and cheer them on. The Blazers represent Port Hedland, not just as a team, but as a community. And BHP is proud to support them.