Perth provided a spectacular vista as the Unity Pitch enjoyed a week-long visit to Australia’s west coast
A huge amount of activities were on offer, notably on International Women’s Day
The Unity Pitch is visiting all nine Australia & New Zealand 2023 Host Cities
Football fans with a taste for sun, surf and spectacular sunsets were surely in heaven this week if they managed to find themselves at Scarborough Beach in Perth. The seaside spot with its west-looking sunset over the ocean is an Instagrammers’ delight sight at the best of times. But the ocean seascape was even further enhanced this week as Perth became the latest stop for the Unity Pitch ahead of the fast-looming FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™. Perth’s location for the Unity Pitch was literally in kicking distance of lapping waves on the Scarborough Beach shore. Look to the south and the Fremantle hometown of Matildas’ captain and local icon Sam Kerr might even be spied in the distance.
But this week’s extended seven-day sojourn to Perth was not simply a chance for a kick-around in the sun. A cavalcade of football and non-football activities was on offer during the week either side of International Women’s Day. Perth Glory players dropped by for a beach training session, there were Para football, low vision football, cultural and linguistically diverse girls teams, and also a local Indigenous female football team participating. There was even, appropriately enough, surf life saving activities. The eye-catching Unity Pitch, which will visit all nine Host Cities, represents a patchwork of the tournament brand colours and reflects the two unique local cultures of Australia and New Zealand.
The beachside visit for the Unity Pitch also coincided with the Official Tournament Poster launch, which meant locals could view the Perth Host City Poster at the FIFA Fan Festival location. There was even a special visitor with FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman taking time out from an operational tour of each stadium to drop in at Scarborough Beach. “If you don't already know that the FIFA Women's World Cup is coming to these shores, you certainly will know after you see the Unity Pitch,” Bareman said. “So, I think it is raising awareness but it's also about engaging and that's what I love about the Unity pitch. The community is actually getting on it, playing football, gathering around it and getting hyped about the Women's World Cup.”
Former Australia international and current Football Australia’s Head of Women's Football, Women's World Cup Legacy & Inclusion, Sarah Walsh, who was once used to only seeing the hotels and football pitches of Perth, enjoyed the new perspective. “I’ve got to say, hands down, this has got to be one of the best locations to put a Unity Pitch,” she said. “This week, I got to see the drone footage and, coming here, it’s actually really exceeded expectations. It is so beautiful down here, it’s really stunning. “We really want to see days like today here at the Unity Pitch down at Scarborough [during the World Cup]. And then, all these moments we’re going to have around the fan sites leading up into the matches that are going to take place in the group stage here in Perth, they are really going to have a lasting impact on the entire community that engages with it.”