Following two weeks of Women in League round celebrations and the release of Episode 5 of Melbourne Made, we sat down with Storm’s Training and Logistics Manager, Regan Gardiner, to chat about her experience as a woman working at Storm.
Melbourne Made sees Gardiner recount her journey with the Club, particularly her incredible experience supporting and playing a crucial role for the 2020 premiership-winning squad.
Now, after six years with the Club, and the only permanent woman in the footy department, Gardiner has cemented herself as a loved and integral part of the Strom training team.
Regan, what is your role within Storm as the training and logistics manager?
I am the Training and Logistics Manager with Storm which has a wide range of duties. One day I will be packing the truck for training and setting up the session, and then on other days I will be organising travel and training logistics. There is a lot of planning that goes into both training and playing days so my role can be quite different each day.
How long have you worked with Storm and what made you want to work here?
I've been at the Club now for six years previously as a myotherapist. Being here as a Myotherapist for the last six years I got to know the boys a bit. I was then part of the hub in 2020 (during the COVID lockdowns) and got to know all the staff and a lot more about the Club and just realised how good the Club is and how much they always support you and have your back in everything you want to do. So, when the job for Training and Logistics Manager came up it seemed like a no-brainer it to apply for it!
What was it like when you started, being the only woman in the football department? Did you feel like there was a different dynamic? Did you feel it involved?
Oh yeah, I think at first the boys would crack jokes and stuff and kind of look over their shoulder and make sure you're all good with it, but once they learn your personality it's sort of all play on from there.
So, you've worked with Storm for a while now – have you seen the number of and support for women increase? How has that been?
I've never seen a female in football before so being the only female at the moment, that's pretty powerful. I keep getting told like ‘oh, you’re a woman’s point of view’ which is really good. You kind of see things that they miss.
It's obviously a male-dominated industry. Is there anything more that you think the Club or Rugby League could be doing to get women involved?
I don't think necessarily the Club needs to do anything. It's more that I think females need to apply for these roles and having the confidence to do so. If you get the role that's great and if you don't, you know, keep trying.
Have you drawn any inspiration from any other women in the field currently?
I worked with Collingwood in the AFLW for six years and Jen Plumb who works over there as the of Property and Head Trainer at Collingwood in the AFLW. She's been a huge inspiration and she's just taken over full-time Property for the AFL men. She's just fantastic. It's awesome to see her doing that.
Melbourne Made | Ep. 5 Women of Storm.
What would you tell young women who are wanting to get into the sports industry?
Work hard, keep motivated and pursue whatever you want.
To end, what's one thing you wish more people knew about women in the workplace, particularly in sports?
I think the barriers are where you set them. Just because something is heavy or looks difficult to lift, it doesn't mean you can't do it. Also, as a female, it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. You don't have to prove anything.
As a Club, we recognise our role to play to further gender equality within the workplace, particularly within a typically male-dominated industry. We are proud to provide women, like Regan, with opportunities to pursue their passion without boundaries and to share their stories to inspire the next generation of women in sport.