Betty Hoar

Betty Hoar was one of a small group of people who helped establish women’s football in Victoria and Australia in the 1970s. Historically the opportunities for women’s involvement in the game were limited and had to be won with great effort and commitment. Previously the game had attracted groups of women and girls but sustained competition and recognition for the quality of the players involved was lacking and there was often outright opposition to the women’s game from male organisations -nationally and internationally. Betty was involved when the Victorian Women’s Soccer Association (VWSA) was established in 1974. She managed a series of Victorian teams in domestic and international matches and tours, including the national women’s team in New Zealand in 1981, the Oceania Cup in Hawaii and New Caledonia in 1983 and again in Brisbane in 1989.

In 1979, Betty was elected to the Board of the Australian Women’s Soccer Association (AWSA) and held the position of Secretary until 1986. Betty retained her seat on the AWSA in various other positions until 1989. Her dedication to the sport has been second to none and her freely given time enabled Women's football in Victoria to run smoothly and competently. Her vast experience was of immense value to the Women’s League Committee within the then Victorian Soccer Federation (VSF) and she continues to support the game today.

Betty Hoar AWSA
The AWSA Executive circa 1983: Irene Sneyd, Betty Hoar, Elaine Watson, Allan Hampton and Don Balmain. Source: Australian Women's Soccer, The First 20 Years, Elaine Watson.

Her husband was a coach with the VSF at the time and Betty Hoar also acted as manager for his teams on several occasions, making an important family contribution to the game. Betty is extremely reluctant to promote her own role in the development of the game, deflecting every attempt to bring out her contribution into a discussion of the broader issues affecting women’s football in Victoria and Australia.

She received life membership of the VWSA and this was recognised subsequently by the VSF, now Football Victoria.

In 1986 she was awarded life membership of the AWSA. In 2000 she was awarded the Australian Sports Medal and was inducted into the Roll of Honour of the Football Australia Hall of Fame in 2003.

The platform Betty Hoar and her colleagues established has allowed the modern generation of women players to go on to equal or even surpass the achievements of their male colleagues in international competition.