Geelong is celebrating a record number of AFLW members off the back of its most successful season to date, placing it first in the league for membership base size.
A total of 790 members joined for the 2023 season, a 21.1 percent increase on the previous club record set in 2022.
It saw the Cats climb the overall league rankings to first – up from third last season, when they were ranked first in Victoria – as well as sitting first in the league for fan engagement.
Geelong Cats chief executive Steve Hocking thanked Cats members for their support.
“As our AFLW program has enjoyed another significant year in its development, building an exciting and sustainable brand of football, it is fantastic to see an increasing number of fans supporting our team as members,” he said.
“To rank first in the league for membership is a testament to the incredible support and passion we experience from Cats fans.
“There is something incredibly special about the club’s membership base, and their faith and support of our AFLW team is felt out on the field and in the halls of GMHBA Stadium, creating an unmistakably Geelong atmosphere.”
Women’s football has enjoyed a strong year of growth in the Geelong region, with a significant increase in average crowds at the Cats’ home games at GMHBA Stadium, as well as an increase in female participation in the AFL Barwon region.
There was a 6 per cent increase in female participation year-on-year in 2023, taking the total increase since 2019 – the year Geelong entered the AFLW – to 44 per cent.
AFL Barwon regional manager Edward Wilson said the organisation worked closely with Geelong Football Club to be innovative and initiative-driven to grow female participation in the region.
“When AFLW kicked-off, this started an incredible rise in female football within our region,” he said.
“The exponential growth witnessed before COVID has slowed, but we’re fortunately still growing at a significant rate.
“In 2023, we launched our Under 9 Girls competition and had an internal goal of four-to-six teams. Thanks to our strategic partnership with the Cats and significant planning, we had 15 teams, which was a very pleasing result.”
Geelong Cats 2024 memberships are on sale at membership.geelongcats.com.au