The Bendigo Dragons Gridiron Club makes history by appointing its first woman as president.
Alice Kielty will lead Bendigo's only American football club into the future.
"It can be such a male dominated sport and I have a lot of ideas that we're going to implement at the club," Kielty said.
Kielty has now been involved with the Dragons for three years and was a committee member before the appointment to president.
"The club has recently become associated with the Bendigo Blaze Pom Team," Kielty said.
"I know they are more comfortable approaching the club and being involved at our events now, with myself as the president."
Kielty - who is also a qualified sports teacher - has big plans to promote the team and to have more junior players involved in the club to create a strong member base for the future.
"We pride ourselves on being part of the community, we do plenty of hospital visits and this year we will be marching alongside the Blaze Pom Team in the Bendigo Advertiser gala parade."
"Not many people know that there is a gridiron club in Bendigo," Kielty said.
"We are one of the most regional teams in Victoria, with the other closest team being Ballarat."
The Dragons and the Ballarat Falcons hold the annual Goldfields Bowl, a match where both teams fight to the end to claim bragging rights over the only other regional Victorian team.
In addition to its men's senior team, the club has also launched its first under-15 team (aged 11-15 years-old) for both boys and girls and invites players of all abilities to come try gridiron.
"To join our club you don't need to have any experience - you can be any shape or size and we will accommodate you," Kielty said.
"We make sure all the club members' families and friends are also included.
"We're a sports club and a big family at the same time."
Kielty will be working alongside Matthew Plathe, who will be continuing his role as the club's head coach for the third year.
"If we keep on the same path we're on, the club will attract the right people," Plathe said.
"We will become even more successful as a club with a great culture to go with it."
"We've always thought of ourselves as more of a family that supports each other on and off the field."
Plathe has many years of experience as a player, starting out when the club was first created - and over the years has seen the popularity of the sport increase.
Plathe's role as head coach includes overseeing the twice-weekly training sessions, where the players practice all elements of the game.
"Our sessions cover fitness, running, catching, learning how to block and how to safely tackle," Plathe said.
"There's a lot of technical things that are part of the game and they're all covered at training."
The Bendigo Dragons Gridiron Club is always looking for new members to join its ranks, with players of all abilities welcome to join the club.
For more information on joining Bendigo's only gridiron team please visit the club's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BendigoDragonsGC/.
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