The West Coast Eagles women’s team travelled to Dunsborough for their 2024 Community Camp, touring the south west along the way.

The players and staff visited eight regional schools on Friday, interacting with the children and educating them on football pathways.

Star midfielder Ella Roberts, a Margaret River local, felt especially close to home.

“I was born in Margaret River, and I started playing footy because my brother played footy,” Roberts said.

“I played my whole junior career down south in ‘Margs’, I played with the boys until I was in U13s and then made the decision to play with the girls.

“It ended up being a really good decision, I learnt a lot playing with the boys, but I think I was ready to join the girls, and I started playing for Busselton.

“Eventually I made my way to Peel Thunder, and then through some state academies I met some more people in the industry and was lucky enough to get drafted to West Coast in 2022.”

Roberts, the 2023 Club Champion Runner Up, said it’s an honour to be a role model for south west kids aspiring to play elite football.

“It’s awesome, I think the south west is one of the nicest places in Western Australia,” Roberts said.

“I’m very proud to say that I’m from down here and it’s a privilege to be one of the few professional athletes to come from the south west."

From a time when there were no pathways for women who wanted to play football, to having the AFLW growing into the League that it is, Roberts said she’s excited to see the continued trajectory of the competition.

“Playing football at an elite level is a dream come true, it’s something that I’ve always wanted,” Roberts said.

“To be involved right at the time where things are really kicking off for women’s sport, it’s super exciting, and I’m really keen to see how much more it will progress in the future.”

The 19-year-old dual Rising Star nominee said school visits help to inspire kids to get involved in football and other sports.  

“It’s really important because even the kids who aren’t interested in the sport or know to much about it get exposed to the pathways through us.

“Us being able to come down here and educate them might spark a bit of interest and inspire kids to want to start playing sport.”

Roberts said there’s no better time than now for kids to start their football journey.

“Now is the best time to get into it,” Roberts said.

“You’ll make friendships that you’ll have forever, the league is only getting bigger and bigger and it’s exciting to be a part of it.”