Football West appoints new Pilbara CPO

Karen Hennessy Pilbara CPO MiniRoos
New Pilbara CPO Karen Hennessy runs a MiniRoos class

Football West is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Community Participation Officer for the Pilbara region.

Karen Hennessy brings a strong sporting and community background to the role. She is a qualified physical education teacher and a big advocate for female sport.

“I’m very excited at the opportunity to promote football in regional WA, it is something I am passionate about,” she said.

“Soccer was the first sport I ever remember wanting to play. I took on my older brothers, and my dad taught me how to take the pace out of the ball. But there were no teams to play in, so I had to set one up myself.

“To now come full circle and be working for Football West in the lead-up to the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand fills me with immense pride.”

Pilbara CPO Karen Hennessy with Perry Ielati
Pilbara CPO Karen Hennessy with Football West General Manager - Football Perry Ielati

Karen, who is originally from Dublin, founded Perth’s St Patrick’s Day Festival in 2013. The annual event, hosted by the City of Vincent in Leederville, sees members of Perth’s Irish community come together to celebrate their national day.

The mother of two also began the popular Women in Sport WA online platform which highlights both grassroots and elite female participants, while looking to inspire girls and women to stay in sport.

She was instrumental in setting up the Save the Force Facebook page, which was dedicated to the survival of Western Force. She has also worked as an Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) program co-ordinator.

But it is with football where her heart lies.

“I coached soccer in the US for three summers, in Manchester North Soccer League in New Hampshire,” she said. “Then after we moved to Perth, when I was working as a PE teacher, I spent time playing at Subiaco, for the Women’s third team and Masters. Then injuries and pregnancy came along!

“Being from Dublin, I have fond memories of the glory years of Irish soccer in the late 80s and 90s during the Jack Charlton era. I am beyond excited about Ireland coming to Perth to play Canada – it has been 21 years since any Irish team has qualified for a World Cup and it’s a first for the Women’s team.

“So when this opportunity to work in football came up, I jumped at it. I view it as a blank canvas, where I can build up the MiniRoos and talent pathways and support the local soccer associations.

“I am looking forward to becoming immersed in the Pilbara, increasing participation numbers and the profile of the sport. I’m also keen to begin working with indigenous communities. I spent time at the International Working Group on Women & Sport conference in New Zealand with indigenous women from around the world talking about the issues their communities face.

“It is all very exciting.”

New Pilbara CPO Karen Hennessy runs a MiniRoos class
New Pilbara CPO Karen Hennessy runs a MiniRoos class

Football West General Manager – Football Perry Ielati said: “Karen will be a great addition to our regional team. She has great energy and a fantastic background. We look forward to seeing her making a big impact in the Pilbara.”