Exmouth local & Fremantle Docker Mim Strom draws inspiration from family

Alison WakehamMidwest Times
Mim Strom, Courtney Rowley, Charlie Thomas, Beth Schilling and Amy Franklin in their football kit.
Camera IconMim Strom, Courtney Rowley, Charlie Thomas, Beth Schilling and Amy Franklin in their football kit. Credit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian

Fremantle Docker and Gascoyne local Mim Strom says the rising popularity of women’s AFL is “so cool” and says if she inspires just one other female player, her career will have been a success.

With Exmouth now featuring its own girls’ team and the AFLW on the rise, Strom said she felt chuffed about the small part she played, and described encouragement from her family as incred-ible.

“If me playing sport can inspire just one little girl to do it, I think that’s a pretty good achievement,” she said.

“In our family, if one succeeds we all succeed.

“My brothers always want their two cents in, and I encourage them and take it on board.

“I would love for them to have the opportunity to play at the highest level.

“They are both incredible sportsmen and people.”

Strom, like so many of her peers, fell in love with the sport after a childhood spent kicking a football with her brothers.

She had to find ways to continue playing as a young teenager before finding a path into the WAFL system.

Six years in, the league is performing strongly, the quality of play continues to improve, and the sport is attracting young women in droves.

It is the wide open spaces, the physicality of the sport, and the spirit of teamwork that appear to hold the most attraction.

Strom, who recently turned 20, never had to look further than her backyard for inspiration — brothers Noah and Zach play for South Fremantle.

They grew up in Exmouth, part of a typical Australian family whose kids kicked a footy around together.

“My dad played, my brothers played — watching Friday night football is what we always did,” she said.

Her path to the AFLW was typical of many.

Strom was one of few girls who played football with the boys in Year 7 but was told later she couldn’t play on.

Her break came when she moved to Perth and, encouraged by her brothers, joined the Bulldogs.

She made her way through the system and was drafted in 2020.

The step up to the big league was a giant stride, even for someone who is 183cm tall, but she had a stellar year playing first ruck after Aine Tighe was badly injured.

She has been playing ruck since she grew tall in Years 11 and 12.

At a younger age, she played basketball and netball, as well as playing lots of other positions in football.

She has a younger sister who plays youth girls’ football and netball, and an older sister “who is not very sporty now but is the biggest cheerleader for the family”.

“The growth of women’s football is so cool,” Strom said.

“They are playing at a younger and younger age, and the talent is going crazy.”

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