West Coast Eagles AFLW vice-captain Bella Lewis attended the inaugural City of Swan International Women’s Day Awards and Community Breakfast on Friday and was humbled to be among some incredibly inspiring women.

Lewis had the honour of presenting the Sports Award, awarded to an individual or team that has made significant contributions to Swan as an athlete, coach or match official in a local organised competition.

“It was really inspiring to be there among so many women and hearing everyone’s different stories,” Lewis said.

“It’s good to hear how diverse and inclusive everyone’s stories are, and it really puts into perspective that what we go through in the sporting world as women is not just limited to the sport bubble.

“It’s the same for the rest of the world, so it’s really inspiring being around so many powerful women.”

An inspiration woman and leader in her own right, Lewis shared what International Women’s Day means to her.

“It’s definitely a day of connection,” Lewis said.

“The number of conversations that you can have with strangers, everyone is always willing to have a really open conversation about their story and what they do for work and what they’re trying to change in their local community.

“It’s a really important thing that we continue to have the connections with each other as women, and men who come on board with that concept as well.”

The appointment of AFLW icon Daisy Pearce as the Eagles’ senior coach, the team’s first female senior coach, was an exciting coup for the entire organisation and Lewis said it’s really boosted the energy around the team.

“You can see the energy she (Pearce) brings, not just to the playing group but the coaches too,” Lewis said.

“Everyone wants to get better by just having her mere presence in the room and that’s just an extremely powerful thing to have.

“She’s extremely humble and grounded by it and you can see that she just really wants us to get better for us.”

Looking ahead to the 2024 AFLW season, Lewis said the team has already started to see some of their hard work paying off.  

“It’s really exciting, obviously it’s extremely early days,” Lewis said.

“But we’re doing a lot of the work skills-wise that we need to be doing and we’re seeing a lot of improvements.

“The coaches and staff have been really helpful with that, and the girls are just absolutely excited.

“Every year we come back excited but this year it’s gone up another level again.

“We’re just continuing to build that connection on the field, which is a big focus this year so, it’s looking really good early days.”