Meet Collingwood Football Club's Emma Grant

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The AFLW season kicks off tonight at 7:45pm with the Collingwood FC and Carlton FC battling it out at Ikon Park.

To acknowledge the large number of AFLW players that have shown support for and are actively involved with Ladder programs, we be profiling a number of players over the next 8 weeks. We asked all our AFLW supporters a series of questions regarding the upcoming competition, their life outside football and why they support Ladder.

Our first player is Collingwood's Emma Grant, who has been named in the side as a starting midfielder. Emma is a strong supporter of Ladder and is currently being trained as a mentor. As she is based in Bendigo, Emma will be our first mentor that is engaged with one of our rural programs.

1. What does it mean to you to be playing in the inaugural AFLW competition?
It's a dream come true to play AFL football. To be apart of the first ever AFLW season and to create history along with 215 other females is something I am very proud of. We have a chance to do something that has never been done before. That is very special.

2. What is/ was your day job outside of the AFL?
I am a teacher. I am the PE specialist teacher at Bendigo Violet Street Primary School and also teach in the grade 1/2 classroom once a week.

3. What have you found most challenging about being an AFL player?
Travel and time commitment. Combining my football with full time work and living in country Victoria. Living in Bendigo it takes me two hours to get to training. Thankfully my work is very supportive of my football and allow me to leave straight after school on training nights.

4. What do you do to relax?
I read The Herald Sun, The Age and The Bendigo Advertiser each day. I also enjoy catching up with friends and family for brunch.

5. What would be your advice to a young person who is struggling to get motivated? [in terms of exercise, work and study etc]
You need to find what you love. Your passion. What makes you tick. Once you have found that, you need to follow it, pursue it and do everything you can to be the best person you can.

6. Who has been a mentor in your life and what did you take from this relationship?
Vicki Poyser- she was a Director of Sport at Bendigo Senior Secondary College and taught me the importance of breaking down gender balances in the sporting industry. She also gave me confidence to pursue my sport even though there were obstacles living in country Victoria. I was fortunate enough to learn from an incredibly self driven woman who had a brilliant work ethic and passion for seeing young people succeed in life.

7. Why do you support Ladder, and its work tackling youth homelessness?
Ladder is a fantastic organisation aimed at supporting young people. Through Ladder my passion for both sport and education will help me positively influence the lives of younger people. No young person in this world should be made to feel homeless or that they don't have support around them. Ladder provides that and I am honoured to be a part of the program.

The match tonight will be broadcast live-to-air on channel 7 and Fox Footy.

To read more about Emma go to http://www.collingwoodfc.com.au/news/2017-02-01/aflw-taking-nothing-for-granted

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