SYDNEY Swans might be more than 12 months away from entering the AFL Women’s competition, but they have already made their first major signing. The Swans announced the appointment of Kate Mahony as Executive General Manager of their AFLW program last Friday.
A qualified sports physiotherapist by trade, Mahony has held numerous roles as a leader in high performance both across Australia and on an international scale. Joining the Swans from the NSW Institute of Sport where she currently holds the role of Head of Performance Health, Mahony brings extensive experience to the red and white. Previously, Mahony has also held roles within the Australian women’s cricket team, and with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and more specifically, the Australian Open.
Now focusing her attention on Australian rules football and the Swans’ inaugural AFL Women’s side, Sydney Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Harley said he was thrilled to have Mahony leading the Swans AFLW program.
“We are very excited to have someone of Kate’s calibre leading our AFLW program into its inaugural season,” he told the Sydney Swans Media.
“With Kate’s knowledge of the national sporting landscape, her extensive experience in high performance sport and particularly her expertise in women’s sport, our program is in unbelievably strong hands.
“We are committed to our inaugural AFLW team having every chance of success when they take the field in late 2022 and I am confident Kate’s appointment will help ensure that is the case.
Mahony’s role – which commences in December – will include a high performance element within the Sydney Swans Academy, both male and female athletes. The newest member of the Swans’ executive team said she was thrilled to be on board.
“It is a really unique opportunity to be there from the start and set the foundations for an elite, high performing AFLW program,” Mahony said.
“I am passionate about women’s sport and incredibly excited for the challenge of helping build an AFLW program and culture that supports athletes reach their potential and perform at their very best.
“AFLW has been a game changer for women’s sport and there is clearly great excitement building around the Swans inaugural AFLW season. We want to build a successful team that inspires the next generation of female footballers and athletes in New South Wales.
“There is plenty of work to be done before that first game and I am very much looking forward to getting started.”
The Sydney Swans Academies will take part in the 2022 NAB League competitions, with the hope that a number of graduates can push into the inaugural AFL Women’s side which enters the competition for the 2023 season.