By Nur Ashikin Vira
TRANSGENDER footballer Hannah Mouncey has revealed her game plan for edging her way into the AFL women’s league.
The Canberra-based 27-year-old wants to become the first transgender player in women’s AFL and is encouraging both fans and players to be supportive of her dream.
Mouncey is a former men’s handball player who narrowly missed selection in the Rio Olympics in 2016. She began hormone treatment two years ago, and has been playing in the ruck for Canberra’s Ainslie and has also played several games in the ACT women’s AFL competition this year.
Her application for the 2018 AFL draft was refused on the grounds of her physicality.
Mouncey told The Bounce this week that her goal is to reduce her weight and focus on the “trial and error” when it comes to training after transitioning, and reduce her testosterone levels.
The AFL based its decision on the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act, which states that athletes can be discriminated against based on their sex or gender “if strength, stamina or physique is relevant”.
The AFL also followed the International Olympic Committee regulations which state an athlete must prove their testosterone level is below 10 nanomoles per litre, a requirement for which Ms Mouncey needs to meet.
At 190cm and 100 kilograms, Mouncey admits she is looked at “differently” by people during a game. But, she hopes that teams and fans can embrace her for her ability, which she promises to deliver in spades.
“People have said, no matter how big I am, I’ll probably hold back a little bit so I won’t hurt anyone in a game, but no, I’m not going to hold back, that defeats the whole purpose,” she said.
“I had my ribs broken in the previous game. So, they can hit and do damages to me.”
Ms Mouncey has been through a very traumatic, psychiatric and emotion experience, and had to endure an awful lot of emotional hardship in order to achieve her goal to be the first elite transgender footballer in Australia.
She also added, “Despite not being able to take part in the 2018 draft, the AFL has given me an approval to play for Ainslie next year in the AFL Canberra competition which I am very grateful and look forward to, before being able to nominate for next year’s draft, hopefully.”
On October 17, she posted on Twitter to congratulate those who took part in the draft: “Good luck to all the girls who nominated for the AFLW draft…”
“I can’t wait to see you all at the highest level and to play with and against you back in Canberra next year!”
For now, Mouncey’s sporting chance at elite level comes through the European handball, a game in which she has been acknowledged for domestic and international competitions.