McDonalds local licensee, Niki Ramsay and new Mackay AFL competition manager Christina Likos announcing the partnership between Mackay AFL and McDonalds.
McDonalds local licensee, Niki Ramsay and new Mackay AFL competition manager Christina Likos announcing the partnership between Mackay AFL and McDonalds. Aidan Cureton

Mackay women's AFL gets huge sponsor

AFL Mackay has partnered with a business giant with aims to bolster the rapidly growing women's sport.

McDonald's has loaned its iconic golden arches to the Mackay women's AFL competition which will now be called the AFL Mackay Women's McDonald's Cup.

The development comes after the successful QW Winter Series match between the Gold Coast SUNS and Brisbane Lions, which ran at Mackay's Great Barrier Reef Arena in June.

Mackay McDonald's owner Niki Ramsay was caught up in the Aussie rules spirit after she saw the strong support to the partnership.

Fifteen leaders from all Women's Aussie rules clubs gathered at Harrup Park for the announcement.

"I've never seen so many girls turn up to a launch event,” Ramsay said.

Leaders of the Mackay AFL women's competition:  Amber McGrath, Trinity Donovan, Miya Scott, Rahnee Vaccaneo, Danielle Fair, Kelly Hegarty, Hannah Wilson, Nikki Sutherland, Leia Mayoh, Megan Ellard, Donna Macdonald, Samantha Hofmeir, Jessie Bourke, Jasmine Wilton.
Leaders of the Mackay AFL women's competition: Amber McGrath, Trinity Donovan, Miya Scott, Rahnee Vaccaneo, Danielle Fair, Kelly Hegarty, Hannah Wilson, Nikki Sutherland, Leia Mayoh, Megan Ellard, Donna Macdonald, Samantha Hofmeir, Jessie Bourke, Jasmine Wilton. Aidan Cureton

"Women numbers in sport tends to decline after 13, so it is great to see the passion around these women.”

The decision to lend their brand was made after they noticed the sport's rapid rise in popularity.

"We try to support our community as much as possible. It's a locally owned store so we try to give back to the community where we can,” Ramsay said.

"We see the growth happening in this code. It's probably one of the biggest growth areas we've seen in Mackay. We just wanted to jump on board and show our support for the local community with the partnership.”

Newly appointed Mackay AFL Competition and Club Development Manager, Christina Likos, said the partnership gave a powerhouse name behind her beloved sport.

"McDonald's is a huge company and people see it getting behind lots of sport. It certainly helps getting numbers,” Likos said.

Female participation continues to grow in Mackay, with a 28% increase in women playing the game in the region this year.

With the introduction of the Gold Coast SUNS AFLW team in 2020, there are more and more opportunities for young girls to progress through the AFL Queensland participation pathway to the elite level.


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