2023 BHP Community Coach of the Year Award
BHP and AFLW congratulate Natalie Pribil on being the deserving winner of the 2022 BHP Community Coach of the Year Award.
Natalie is the head coach of the Beaumaris Junior Football Club's Under 14 Girls Division 1 team that plays in the South Metro Junior Football League in Melbourne. An avid Carlton supporter with fond memories of childhood trips to the MCG with her Dad, Natalie is sports-mad. She has run five marathons, competed in an IronWoman, is a regular at Parkrun events, and dabbled as a Masters athlete with AFLW, but before 2015 had never coached the game.
Via her footy-playing daughters, Natalie started at the Mordi-Brae Football Club as a volunteer team runner in 2014. However, it was with her husband's encouragement and his foresight to recognise that there needed to be more female role models in coaching that Natalie, who didn't play competitive footy as a girl, nervously undertook her first assignment as an assistant coach in 2015. By the following year, she was a premiership-winning head coach, and in 2019 she enjoyed her first stint coaching her youngest daughter, which she still does today.
In what is a true family affair, Natalie's mum has been the goal umpire in well over 100 games that her granddaughters and daughter have been involved in, and her dad is yet to miss one.
From a talented field of community coaches around the country, Natalie's coaching philosophy of connection, kindness and fun drew the judging panel's attention. The nomination for Natalie noted, "She always encourages and motivates the next generation of female players and coaches. She has given out leadership roles within the playing group, fostering that sense of ownership, leadership and responsibility. The girls have thrived in this environment."
Natalie's plans include becoming a mentor for other women who want to give coaching a go and setting up a buddy coaching system to support them on that journey and their clubs in becoming genuinely inclusive environments.
BHP and AFLW are dedicated to progressing the representation and empowerment of women and girls in sport and business across Australia. Through our partnership, the AFLW can open the pathways so that more girls and women participate in football at all levels, from players, coaches, umpires and administrators.
If you know a community coach like Natalie, keep an eye out for the 2023 iteration of the BHP Community Coach of the Year Award.