Marngrook Footy Show hosts Leila Gurruwiwi joined the Butterfly Effect podcast to chat women in the sports media, how she got her start, and yep, ‘having it all’.
Erin Byrnes, Presented by

2 Jun 2016 - 7:28 AM  UPDATED 2 Jun 2016 - 8:18 AM

Marngrook is a trailblazer when it comes to women in the media, and has had five female presenters in that time

It was quite funny because Grant (Hansen), who’s obviously the creator of the Marngrook Footy Show, it was very poignant for him at the time when he was asked by NITV to commission the show that there was a female voice.

And for him it was really important to have not just one, but two female voices on the show. It’s just quite interesting that everyone kind of didn’t really give us the accolades, not that we need them, but they didn’t really acknowledge the fact that we’d been doing this for quite a long time.

Gurruwiwi has definitely noticed the hype around Rebecca Maddern on the AFL Footy Show

It was a bit like, “Oh well, I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing this for a while”.

Though the show has never received due attention, she’s always felt supported

On the whole it’s been very supportive. Our little Marngrook family, I like to call it, has always been really supportive.

Every now and again we might have a particular guest that comes on the show that might have a little dig here and there, but it’s just like, “Well you know what? I have as much right as anyone else to be sitting on this panel and I love football as much as anyone else and I have an opinion just like everyone else”. So, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Anything men can do, women can do too

I think that’s a really big thing that a lot of young women have to deal with is that whole idea of balance, like balance between sports, balance between life, balance between social life, all those sorts of things.

And unfortunately people have this perception that women can’t do it but men are more than capable of doing it, and it’s just like the last time I checked women were the best multi-taskers there are in the world, generally speaking.

But generally speaking, and it’s just like well, if men can do it, like there’s no reason why we can’t do that as well, why we can’t have it all.

Moving to Melbourne inspired her to get in the game

I was very active in sports when I was really little. My favourite sport above everything was track and field when I was at school. I was a sprinter, so I loved 100m hurdles, 200m relay and long jump and high jump were kind of my favourite sports when I was at high school but, again, I liked playing any sort of sport.

It wasn’t until I actually moved down from Bendigo to Melbourne because, even though I grew up with a lot of footy mad people, it was not something that I was overly interested in when I was living in Bendigo. Like, I went up home, watched family play footy and all that sort of stuff, but it wasn’t until I moved to Melbourne, which is obviously the spiritual home of AFL football, and seeing just the madness that goes around during football season that I got sucked in, like a lot of other people do.

Though it’s been around since 2007, the Marngrook Footy Show keeps building momentum

It’s live, so whatever happens on the show happens on the show. It’s really a wonderful show to be a part of and there’s a lot of comradery on the panel, and nowadays we don’t have to necessarily knock on doors to get people on the show, they just kind of fall into the studio saying, “I want to be on the show, I want to be on the show”.

 So it’s exciting times and every week we’re getting our highest-rating shows every week, like week after week, so it’s building momentum and it’s exciting to see. We got nominated for Best Sports Program and didn’t get it this year, but that’s alright, we’re still going to be in the running next year and the year after hopefully and hopefully we’ll be able to bring one home soon.

You can tune in to the Marngrook Footy Show on NITV and SBS at 7:30pm every Thursday.

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