Spotswood Football Club last week elected the first female president in its 92 year history.
Standing outside the clubrooms, Altona’s Michele Langlands reflected on what it meant to take the helm.
“As I stand here today in front of this backdrop of the oval being resurfaced, new lighting, rooms about to be demolished – as the first female president of a very proud 92-year-old institution – I realise that clubrooms do not make up a club, people do,” she said.
“These rooms are about to be demolished but the memories and the history made within the walls will remain in our hearts forever.”
The men in the Langlands family have long been recognised as icons – patriarch Gavin and the boys they share, Will and Tom.
“I came here 43 years ago in 1976 with my then partner, who I subsequently married, Gavin Langlands, who is still here and is a life member of this club and played something like 427 games,” Ms Langlands said.
“We’ve since then had two children, Will Langlands and Tom Langlands.
“Will, himself, has played 420-odd games with this club and Tom, his brother, not as many but played all juniors here, played a lot of seniors, went to Williamstown, off to Wodonga, came back here, coached for three years and then played his last couple and they have both since retired.
“Through all that, I’ve been on social committees, I’ve worked behind the scenes, I’ve had time away when the boys were little, and then I came back full-on and I’ve just done five years as our CFO (chief financial officer).”
Ms Langlands said she was approached by a couple of people and asked to consider taking on the presidency at Spotswood.
“I don’t have a total football brain as in the rules,” she said,
“But I’m very much a people person.
“I just realised that we weren’t growing and, yes, we were about to redevelop and pull rooms down and, yes, for all of us it’s not a challenge because we are a club of people and we’ll do it together.
“I think that gave me the strength to say, you know what, if I want to grow and I want this change, I need to step into that circle.”