Joel Brenshaw, a 26 year-old male from the southern suburbs of Melbourne, has been given the green light to play in a local Under 13s primary school football league.
Brenshaw, who has been identifying as a 13 year-old since he turned 23, believes that this is a huge step forward for the league, and for the sport in general.
The last time Brenshaw played in an Under 13s regular season match, he was under the age of 13.
Prior to the 2017 season, Brenshaw was allowed to play in a trial match. He booted 17 goals from 45 possessions in the first half, and was subbed off for the remainder of the game. His registration for the regular season was subsequently rejected — a decision which caused quite a stir on social media.
League officials were branded ‘heartless’, ‘intolerant’ and ‘discriminatory’ for preventing Brenshaw for playing in the age division that he identifies with. A petition to boycott the league, which is run entirely by parent volunteers, received thousands of signatures.
As a result of the intense pressure, the league has approved Brenshaw to play in the upcoming season.
Punters are loading up on the 205cm full-forward, who is paying $1.01 to take out the league’s leading goal-kicker award.
For Brenshaw, it’s just a matter of taking it one game at a time. He has stated that he is looking forward to balancing his football commitments with his job as a fully-qualified plumber.