THE "big game-changer" for Jackie Powell has been in her approach to everyday life.
A wife, a mum and a dog-mamma, Ms Powell said she was always worrying about putting others' needs before her own. Lessons from Western Bulldogs' Daughters of the West program continues to shape her life, one year on from the season's end.
"Everybody has a different reason for being there...Some you have no idea about their different backgrounds until they might speak about it," Ms Powell said.
"Now, more than ever, I think it's important women put themselves first. It's been a big game-changer for me to put myself first. In the program, it was my one time every week I would get to to something for me, and it was a reminder to keep doing it more often moving forward."
Everybody has a different reason for being there...Now, more than ever, I think it's important women put themselves first.Jackie Powell, Western Bulldogs' Daughters of the West Ballarat graduate
Daughters of the West will operate in a virtual environment this season with women in Ballarat and Melbourne's western suburbs able to sign up for the eight-week program via morning or evening sessions on Zoom.
Connections, meeting new people, was important for Ms Powell in signing up for the Ballarat in-person program last year. She was confident, while this year was online, the program's core - delving into key issues impacting women and time to discuss in smaller groups - would still be the same.
Ms Powell's husband had taken part in the Sons of the West 2017 season, which was how she was aware of the program's theory and fitness components.
Her personal training group had closed, ending not just Ms Powell's exercise but a key component of her social life. But even she was surprised how Daughters was much "more than a health and well-being" program.
Daughters of the West proved her stepping stone to getting involved again in the community.
It's an inclusive safe space where everyone has a voice.Jackie Powell
"I went in completely wide-open about the experience and what it was going to give me," Ms Powell said.
"Each week, I would go back, meet more people and get more and more involved. I was meeting people I had never encountered before and exposed to so much...we did laughing yoga, cardio drumming, Zumba and basketball - all things I never would have thought about doing before.
"It's an inclusive safe space where everyone has a voice."
Ms Powell completed the Bulldogs' Leadership Academy and had signed on to help with Sons of the West and in administration for all-abilities football club Ballarat Bulldogs before the pandemic hit. All her new ways of taking time for herself to give back.
To register: westernbulldogs.com.au/foundation
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