SOCCER mom, noun [U.S] a woman who devotes much of her spare time to her children’s activities, typically driving them to and from sports events in which they are involved
– Collins online dictionary
But not in Denmark, Western Australia, where mums are not content to sit on the sidelines, and at least 14 mothers and daughters play for the same senior soccer club.
Becky Winter has played for Denmark Senior Soccer Club for four years, mostly in one or another team containing at least one of her daughters.
“I’ve got seven kids, and most of them play soccer,” she says.
“I got sick of watching, and decided to join.”
Becky says that until that time she had never played.
“I’d been watching it for so long, and I’d been a coach so I had a rough idea of what to do,” she explains.
“I do a lot of running and bike riding, so my fitness is fine but my skill is not up to the level of my teenagers.
“I’ve always had one daughter in my team; most recently Lily and she went up to A-grade, and then Lowana came in last year.”
Becky says she feels for her daughters if they take a tumble on the pitch, but adds injury is all part of the game.
“Lowana broke her ankle last year playing junior soccer, and one of my older girls has broken her collar bone playing women’s soccer, but if you’re going to play sport you have to accept that sometimes you’ll get a bump or a graze, or a pulled ligament or something,” she says.
“But they’re all pretty tough and strong.”
Lily-May Winter says that in the heat of soccer battle, some mums can “get a bit maternal” and a bit cranky when their skilled-up daughters start barking out the orders.
“In the end, it’s fine because they realise their daughters do know what they’re talking about,” she says.
“When we rock up to a game, you can always tell it’s the Denmark team because there’s so many of us together – we move in a group.”
Sarah Carver has played for six years, always with one of her daughters.
“It’s fantastic because you’ve got a shared interest and you get to hang out,” she says.
“I love it because it’s not just me and my girls.
“The girls sort of have all these other mothers, so you’ve got the mentoring of all those young girls too.”
Sarah’s daughter Imogen says it’s “comforting” playing on the same side as her mother.
“Growing up in Denmark, I know most of the other mothers too and they’ve become kind of like second and third mums to me,” she says.
Imogen’s sister Phoebe has stepped up to the senior side this year and at the time of speaking to The Voice of the South has only played one game with Sarah.
“It’s just a close soccer community and I have grown up around a lot of the mums there and they’ve all been very supportive and great people to have around,” she says.