amazing women

#womeninsport…shining the light on Penny Cula-Reid

It’s #womeninsport day again, quickly turning into our fave day of the week judging from the amount of interaction with each post. Seems we are all about women slaying in their chosen sporting field. School hols are but a few sleeps away, giving each and every one of the us the perfect opportunity to go and watch women play sport. So I want to know, who will put their hand up and say “I’m in. I want to support these women who are absolute superstars on the track, field, court, water etc. I, insert name, want to take my kids along to show them just how ridiculously awesome women are at sport and how they deserve our time and money in a show of support. Because kiddies, it might one day be you out there and I want you to be able to play/compete professionally without worrying about working other jobs to pay to train, compete, etc, to pay for your flights to represent your country in the Olympics (true story), to live. I want you, my beautiful daughter/s, to have all the opportunities possible to succeed so I’m going to do my part by putting my bum on a seat to show the media and potential sponsors these women are worth more than they’re currently receiving.”

This week the spotlight is being shone on Penny Cula-Reid. A name which you may or not have heard either during an AFL Women’s match this year whilst playing for Collingwood, or way back in 2004 when she, along with 2 other girls, went to VCAT to get the restrictions on girls playing footy past a certain age changed. The case attracted a lot of media attention and resulted in a female development officer being appointed to establish a youth girls competition. She is basically one of the pioneers of women’s football in Australia. Read more about the case here.

pic from Herald Sun

I’ve known Penny for several years and in that time have seen several articles pop up about her and her sporting prowess. What I didn’t know, and read about in one article (here), was that Penny was also a cricketer. She in fact played for the Victorian Women’s 2nd XI and was forced to choose between football and cricket. Football, her true passion, won out. And what she has done with it!!!!! I’ve included but a few articles that have been written about her and all that she achieved in life down further, you really must pick a few of them to read as the answers Penny submitted to me are typically Penny brief 😉 She is one modest lady given all she has done on so many, many fronts.

1. Who are you & where do you hail from?

Penny Cula-Reid – I’m from the South East suburbs of Melbourne.

2. What is your chosen sport? A brief career highlights reel if you please!

I play AFL football. Played for Collingwood in 2017, St Kilda Sharks 2004 – Current. Not sure how brief I can be hahaha. *see what I mean?!!! She has actually left so much out regarding her achievements!
I started playing at the age of 6, played my junior football career at Murrumbeena (150 games). When I was 15 I was told I wasn’t allowed to play football with the boys anymore because I was a girl. Myself and 2 other girls decided to take it a little further and headed to VCAT (Victorian Civil and Administrations Tribunal) to challenge the law. In 2003 the development of  Youth girls was created meaning girls could now play with the boys until the age of 14 then move into the Youth girls competition which is an U/17 girls only comp then move into the open age and thus the expansion of football opportunities for girls.
I have represented Victoria in a number of state championships. Represented Australian in Ireland to play International Rules against the Irish girls. Best and fairest at Stkilda sharks 2012, Captain of the Sharks in 2016/2017

3. What is your ‘normal’ week like? Training, playing/competing?

I normally work 10hr days 5 days a week with 2-3 football training sessions a week, then own weights sessions 2 nights and play on Sundays.
pic by Robert Keeley

4. Do you have a job outside of your sport? And why? 

I work 6 different jobs. I’m a personal trainer, work for Ambulance Victoria as a Functional Assessor, InjuryNET for pre-medical screening, Whinstanlys as a landscape gardener, The Queen of Garden Green as a landscape gardener and I work for Collingwood as a game day developer
5. What changes would you like to see take place for #womeninsport & your sport in particular to level up the playing field between men & women? So that you could “just be” a professional athlete without needing another job. 
I guess just having the same opportunity to develop the skills and professionalism that we are missing, there has been massive progress in developing the women in sport its only a matter of time until it all falls into place. I’m a strong believer that the product should be paid what its worth

6. Do you have sponsors you would like to give a shoutout to?

7. What does life outside of your sport involve? Hobbies, passions etc?
My wife, my pets, my friends. Can normally find me on the water wakeboarding or chilling out with friends.

pic by Penny Stephens

8. Tea or coffee? *this is super important!

100% Coffee but always finish the day off with a Tea

9. Where can we see you play/compete next?

Playing in the VFL competitions, you can find me at the St Kilda Sharks games.

A post shared by Penelope CR (@pcula) on

10. What does the rest of 2017 look like for you?

Lots of work, potentially some public speaking gigs, football coaching clinics
11. if you have social media links for your club or your self so people can follow please include them here
Instagram: @pcula
Like I said…modest. Read more about Penny Cula-Reid:

How amazing is she?! Did you get to any of the AFLW’s games this year? Disappointingly we did not, WNBL and life totally got in the way but I am looking forward to watching Penny play very soon. She really is awe inspiring both on and off the field.

I’ll be sharing a heap of games/matches to go and watch over the holidays on facebook so make sure you keep an eye out for them and GO!!!!!! If you need to catch up on earlier #womeninsport posts on either Amelia Todhunter or Tara Jenkins you can see them all under AMAZING WOMEN in the menu. Don’t forget to share these posts around and spread the word about these amazing women. Imagine people went to a game because of your share and you were therefore an integral part of this important grassroots project! How rad would that be?! I would totally give you a high five for your efforts!!!

So if the kids are whinging about being bored this weekend or during the hols, drag them along to watch Penny and the Sharks in action. I know she would love to see you there!

header pic by Nuala Clarke Photography.