‘For little me’: Mel Buttle’s bittersweet reaction to Matildas win

Comedian Mel Buttle Instagram photo
Image: Instagram

Comedian Mel Buttle has revealed her bittersweet reaction to the Matildas’ World Cup glory by sharing her own devastating personal memories of being “robbed” of sport as a child.

Watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the comic and TV personality this week wrote a very personal Facebook post describing feeling “rapt” for the Matildas but angry about how she missed out on the chance to reach her own potential in sport.

“You can’t glance a screen this week without seeing Sam Kerr’s face pop up. She’s flogging you everything from deodorant to accounting software,” Mel began.

“It’s wall-to-wall Tillies and I’m bloody rapt for the girls. Well, part of me is rapt.”

Mel explained she was also grappling with a “weird feeling” during the Women’s World Cup hype.

“I’m mad. To be honest, I’m bloody spewing,” Mel shared.

“I’m feeling a bit robbed about my experiences with sport. Little Buttz was sports obsessed.

“I did it all too, swimming, karate, hockey, softball, rowing, (not netball, yuck) and naval cadets (not a sport but same diff).

‘Swimming was all that was on offer’

Mel Buttle continued, “Brag alert. I was good at sport. I’d throw a ball against a wall for hours, I’d teach myself hockey by borrowing books about it from the library.”

“I’d ask older cousins to teach me how to throw a proper spin pass with a rugby ball. I borrowed a VHS from the library to learn how to skateboard. Mixed results there to be honest.

“In the 90’s the only sportswomen whose names I knew, and who I saw on the tele regularly were swimmers.

“Swimming felt like all that was on offer if you were a girl and had dreams of not only representing Australia, but doing an Uncle Toby’s ad too. Get in the pool love.”

But unfortunately, Mel declared, “swimming is boring as.”

“Whenever someone came to our primary school to demonstrate a burgeoning sport, like AFL or futsal a note would get sent home to my parents explaining that I showed great promise,” she said.

“An invitation would be extended for me to pop down to the local club and try out for whatever it was this term.

“‘What so you’ll be a professional futsal player will you?’ was the response, and the note would go in the bin.”

Mel Buttle pleaded for girls football team at school

Mel Buttle recalled in year six, she took matters into her own hands in her pursuit of a sporting team.

“I wrote a letter to my primary school PE teacher suggesting a girl’s touch football team,” she said.

“I strengthened my case, by including a recent newspaper clipping… Another local school had just launched a girl’s touch football team.

“Yes, girls wanting to play touch football in 1993 was so newsworthy that it went in the paper.

“[In] my letter I made a good case, I included names of other girls who I knew would be keen to play too. I thought I had this sewn up.

“On Monday morning I nervously handed my letter to the PE teacher. I stood there at her waist height and looking up at her radiating hope as she read over it. ‘Right,’ she said folding it and shoving it in her pocket.

“‘The thing with that is, well, firstly, insurance, and then there’s the matter of a bus and not everyone has the money and, look it’s a good idea’.

“I could tell, the Ferny Ferrets weren’t going to happen in my time. I could hear that mocking slightly higher pitch in her voice that adults do to kids, when they’re scrambling to find a way to say maybe but they definitely mean no.”

‘It’s not very feminine’

Mel recalled that she ultimately had to wait until year 12 to play in a school touch football team, in 1999. She said that she was “lucky to be allowed”.

“A friend of mine wanted to play too but her mum had said, ‘it’s not very feminine’ and that was that. Again, 1999,” Mel said.

The comedian said watching Sam Kerr on the field against Denmark made her “burst into tears”.

“I didn’t know why. Something about the roar of the crowd just for her got me good,” Mel recalled.

“Today, I went for it, and hunted down a Tillies jersey. Sure, I’ll never wear it after next week, yes, it’s non a breathable material that will flare my eczema up.

“But who gives a rats, I’m swept up in this, for little me. Go the Tillies!”

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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