Brisbane’s super fan: Roar supporter banging the drum at rebel Female Football Awards
An intriguing email in her inbox a couple of years ago was the first step towards Chris McAlister’s serious love affair with Brisbane Roar.
The club was looking for people interested in forming the Roar Supporters Federation (RSF), and with her experience in volunteer management, McAlister was only too happy to help out.
“And the rest is history,” she tells www.w-league.com.au.
“It’s been a crazy couple of years. I work full-time and I have two small kids as well, so it’s been a really interesting journey.
“But being able to support the three different streams of the club [Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and Foxtel Y-League] has been great.”
It’s been such a success that McAlister was rewarded for her fantastic work by taking out the Female Fan of the Year trophy at the recent rebel Female Football Awards.
McAlister is a big follower of all things Roar, but it’s the Westfield W-League where she is particularly prominent. She was one of the founding members of the Roar Corps, the team’s active supporter group.
“It’s a really great community we are building. The amount of people that have just come up to me randomly at games because I’m wearing a Roar Corps shirt saying 'we love what is happening' has been overwhelming,” McAlister explains.
“I love how people are engaged, we love how it’s inclusive and positive.
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“And just seeing how many young kids are involved. My kids are seven and nine and while they were reluctant initially, they love it now and it’s great to see kids get into it.
“Now they are like ‘Can we have a go on the drums? Can we have a go on the megaphone?’ It’s fantastic to see how engaged they are.”
McAlister, who has been a football fan since she became a goalkeeper in primary school, has a hands-on role in helping Roar distribute merchandise to deserving fans as well as being involved in fundraising for the club.
“We paid for the fireworks at the kit launch to literally add a bit of spark to it for the fans, we’ve also donated bucketloads of it for different programs around the place like Thursday Island [in the Torres Strait],” she explained.
“We’ve donated to one of the local YMCA’s that have an amazing after-school program, and we’ve donated stuff to the Queensland Powerchair team to support their fundraising to get to the nationals.
“So we’ve definitely managed to raise funds to donate to some very deserving groups.”
Asked about winning a rebel Female Football Award alongside the likes of Roar coach Mel Andreatta and Melbourne Victory boss Jeff Hopkins, McAlister said: “It was surprising, I didn’t even know I had been nominated.”
“I got a bit of a prompt from Roar that I needed to clear my schedule for a trip to Sydney so it was a nice surprise but it’s definitely a team effort what I do.”