Over 100 people attended the Ball, including Minister for Sport, Senator Kate Lundy as well as several other politicians. 2011 World Cup Australian Women’s Open assistant coach, Dean Russell, was part of a panel interviewed by MC Stephanie Brantz and joined Australian Opals squad members Liz Cambage, Carly Wilson and Marianna Tolo, Opals coach, Carrie Graf and Capital Football Chief Executive, Heather Reid on stage. Russell told the crowd about Australia’s impressive record at the Women’s Open level, having never lost a game at World Cup level as well as the amount of females taking part in Touch Football across Australia. “The international program for Touch Football started back in 1985 for women. It’s been an extremely successful program. We are extremely proud of the results we’ve produced on the field and the athletes we’ve produced off it,” Russell said. “We do have a lot of females playing (Touch Football) but we are probably lucky in the sense that we have a category at social level and domestic that is very popular which is Mixed Touch. A lot of families get together and play with their Mums and Dads and sons and daughters which introduces them into the sport and then they can see the pathways that develop through regional, club, state and international level.”Recently named as the Federal Minister for Sport, Senator Lundy spoke about her passion for sport and in particular women’s sport. “I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to be here tonight, I’m so privileged and honoured to have this portfolio. It’s something that is a part of me, my love for sport. It has always been a big part of my life and part of my family’s life,” Senator Lundy said. “Tonight we are particularly acknowledging the role that so many women have played in our sporting landscape. As Senator for the ACT I am incredibly proud of the local women in sport and the Canberra community’s wonderful response to the successes, their support when they are not going so well and most of all drawing from the participation base in the community that finds itself again and again inspired by the performance of our elite female athletes.”“The Government is committed to supporting women in sport and despite all the work that has been done, we recognise that more must be done to bring women’s sport to its rightful place in this country.”Chief Executive Officer of Sports Hydrant, Andy Turnbull, told the crowd that the promotion of elite women’s sport through the event was just one of the Sport For Women initiatives that the organisation drives. “Sports Hydrant, through the Sport For Women website, seeks to increase participation through we believe redefining the definition of sport. We want sport to be an integral part of the sporting landscape by including dance, individual fitness initiatives and not actually separating sport and recreation from leisure,” Turnbull said. Thank you to Bec Lewis from BL Imaging for providing the photos.