The Sydney Swans currently have more AFLW members than any other club. (Image: Sydney Swans)

The Sydney Swans' continued proactiveness towards inclusivity is being reflected in their AFLW membership numbers, released on Monday.

The 2021 AFLW membership tally so far has been made public, and incredibly, the Sydney Swans lead the competition despite not fielding a team until the 2023 season.

It has been well documented that the Sydney Swans Football Club is known for its professionalism, aspiration and forward-thinking off the field, but its immediate AFLW success is evidence that the Swans are making an impact.

The Swans consistently place themselves at the forefront of creating change for the better, demanding resolution in the fight for overall equality, especially within the sporting community.

Whether it be from continuously fighting against racism to annually participating in the Sydney Mardi Gras, a huge event for the LGBTIQ community, the club has made their stance known, and refuse to stay quiet.

Through their off-field endeavours, the Swans have been able to build a welcoming and inclusive community that invites any and all.

Sydney Swans participating in the 2021 Mardi Gras. (Image: Sydney Swans)

Now the Swans, along with every AFL club, are seeing through numbers the extent of the impact the club has had, and as a result, are reaping the rewards.

The Swans have exploded off the blocks, rocketing to the top as more fans demonstrated their support to Sydney’s AFLW team than any other club.

The added hurdle of having never fielded a team in the AFLW, and won’t do so until 2023, is an effort that must also be recognised.

The Swans made the conscious choice to not make an AFLW bid when the competition was first announced, instead opting to focus on creating an environment that fairly facilitated the needs of an elite level team beforehand.

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“When the original team was set up, we made a really difficult decision not to bid for a licence, which was really related to our inability to deliver a professional facility where athletes could thrive.”

These were the words of Sydney’s Executive General Manager of Consumer and Product, Natalie Fagg, when the Sydney Swans announced they would make an AFLW license bid.

An incredible amount of planning alongside action has taken place in order for the Swans to prepare for an AFLW team. The club now believes that the time is right.

Alongside their membership count, the Swans recently announced that the club managed to record a net profit of $54,598, after successfully clearing all debt owed to the AFL.

The patience, planning and commitment to providing the best environment for their new team provides the blueprint upon how to successfully manage a football club.

Newly appointed AFLW Executive General Manager for the Sydney Swans, Kate Mahoney, is particularly pleased with the team’s early progress.

“AFLW has been a game changer for women’s sport and there is clearly great excitement building around the Swans inaugural AFLW season,” she said.

“We want to build a successful team that inspires the next generation of female footballers and athletes in New South Wales.

“There is plenty of work to be done before that first game and I am very much looking forward to getting started.”

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