– [Barbara] When we played Australia, 10 minutes before kickoff, one of the committee
members came to me and says “Barbara, Barbara, where’s the teapot? “Where are the teacups? “I have to get everything ready!” and I was like, hmm, I’m out to play in quarter of an hour. The idea that women would go out, and have muddy knees
and dirt over them just wasn’t ladylike. Before football, I was
your typical housewife. I stayed home, and cooked and cleaned, and looked after the children, and my husband went to work, and so, I knew nothing about football. Some woman approached him and said “look we’d like to put a team in the first women’s league that started.” And he said “Oh, go and ask my wife, she’ll crash and bang into anything.” And that’s how I started to play. I loved the freedom of being able to run down the pitch as fast as you could, to be able to jump up, and you know, if you accidentally headed the ball and it went back in the
net, and it was just… Yeah, I fell in love. I remember coming off that
first game and thinking I’m going to master this game. For most of us growing up, to play sport, there was very limited choices. For the woman suddenly being able to go out, and use all parts of their body, and run freely, the sense of confidence it gave them in their bodies. We had so much fun! In Auckland, we started with 10 teams in 1973. By the following year, it just exploded. The reaction from men
was always really mixed. You had the men that were pro. They’re the ones, like my husband, that were very positive. There were people, like Ken Armstrong, who was a tremendous influence. And then, on the other hand, you had the men that,
“oh my god”, you know, “women playing? That’s disgusting.” “You’ll get hurt”, or
“this is a man’s game, “you shouldn’t be invading our territory.” We got an invitation from Hong Kong to say that the first Asian Women’s Cup would be held in Hong Kong in 1975, and would New Zealand like to participate? What we had to do to get there, one, we all had to contribute $100 and then we had to help raise the money to pay for the airfares. We ended up walking up and down the street with little boxes, to say, please will you donate money. And I can remember going into the pubs, with about 3 of us, and saying, um, “20 cents a kiss!” (laughs) so it wasn’t that pleasant. But, that’s how we got to Hong Kong, and, we won. The reaction when we got
back was quite amazing. There were a lot of people at the airport to meet
us. The press were there. The television were there. Most of the media reports tried to emphasise our femininity, ensure that they mentioned
that we’d have sweethearts or husbands, so there was that angle, or lens that the media used, to sort of ensure that the public were happy that we were
capable of attracting men. You could do some corners. You could do some corners Lawson, and Trinny could go in goal, or Jack could do some
corners, and you could head. (Laughs) You could head. (Laughs) Go Jackie, your turn Jack – [Tara] Go Trin! – [Michele] Was there any other option playing football in our house? It would definitely have been difficult, because that was our
whole social environment. It was our discussion point. It was our love. – [Tara] Our house was
kind of this central point for everything football related. So people would come before training They’d stay after training. There were always a lot
of people in the house. – [Michele] She was very
much my impetus to play. She started doing something really cool, so I wanted to be like
my mom and do that too. – [Barbara] By the time Michele got to 11, she was allowed one more year of grace as a 10th grade, and
then there was no longer anywhere for her to play
because the Auckland JFA would not allow mixed football. It wasn’t suitable for 11 and 12-year-old to be playing with women of up to of anything up to 40 years old. So I went to the Human Rights Commission to see if they could do anything about letting girls
and boys play together. The Human Rights agreed and said that they have to be allowed to play but the AJFA totally ignored that ruling. So it wasn’t until 1985, which is, you know, 12 years after it had been first mooted, that girls got to play with boys. – [Michele] As a 10-year-old, you don’t appreciate what your mother, or your parents are doing to try and protect your interests. And all I could think about, was “I can’t play football” and that was the big tragedy for me. Not the sort of process
that went behind it. So, you know, you get a bit older, and then you realise how important access to the game is. – [Barbara] Michele and
I were the first mother and daughter combination to play for a national team in the whole world. – [Michele] Mom was a defender primarily, and I was a midfielder but, the time we played together
in the national team, and beat USA, the only
time New Zealand has beaten the US Women’s Team, we played in defence together. – [Barbara] And in their record it’s got, you know, America lost,
1-0 to New Zealand, And when you get a
little country like that, beating a huge big country,
it makes no difference whether you’re a male or female team, it’s still important. We would have been ranked
fourth in the world during those times. And then, in 2000, things rapidly went downhill. All of the delegates from the various women’s associations voted to merge with football New Zealand. – [Michele] A lot of the
investment got taken out, initially, of the women’s game, and put into the men’s game, and so, for example, I played in
a period of three years, where we only went on
one international tour. – [Tara] I asked our coach at the time, “So, what was on the schedule?” I needed an operation quite badly, and I was willing to
delay it if there were some significant events, and
his answer was there was nothing planned for the
next couple of years. – [Barbara] You know,
you take an untried male, and you put all of that effort into him, well, that’s fine, they become really, really good. Why can’t you put the same sort of effort into a female, so you’ve
got the opportunities for them to reach the top and become good. The women were just being ignored. Oh, this’ll be funny. (laughs) This will be very funny. – [Tara] Yes it will be. – [Michele] Take him
on. Go on, take him on. This’ll end up, this’ll end up very funny. (laughter) It was always going to happen. It was always going to happen. – [Tara] I think anyone
who knows my mother is quite inspired by her. She is someone who
really gets things done. She fought so hard to get young girls to continue to play with boys
as long as they could, and I think that really helped develop the girl’s skills, and I think it also started to open opportunities, in terms of publicity for girls that maybe the traditional options weren’t the only options available. – [Michele] I think a
third of the player base is now girls. Going down there, and seeing it nearly on a
gender equal basis is fantastic. The thing I would like to say to my mum, but also to my dad,
who’s obviously not here, is thanks for the support they gave us as young women, because that wasn’t always the case. We
were so fully supported, to play sport, and do whatever we wanted. – [Barbara] When I first started, I was pretty useless technically. But, I remember going
out onto the stadium, and looking around, seeing the crowd, and thinking, I belong here.