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Geraldton cop, women's football coach and father-of-three Nathan Johansen is a positive role model for all

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Family ties: Jasmine, 17, Geneva, 15, and Jada Johansen 12 with their policeman and footy coach dad Nathan.
Camera IconFamily ties: Jasmine, 17, Geneva, 15, and Jada Johansen 12 with their policeman and footy coach dad Nathan. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardian

As a women’s team football coach, police officer and father to three daughters, Nathan Johansen is the ultimate “girl dad”.

This Father’s Day, Sgt Johansen opens up about the importance of being a positive role model and how tricky it can be when you have to coach your own kids.

Sgt Johansen’s two eldest daughters — Jasmine, 17, and Geneva, 15 — are coached by their dad in the Railways’ GNFL women’s team.

Although coaching his girls can be difficult and testing at times, Sgt Johansen said his daughters responded well to the change from father to trainer.

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“I’ve been coaching them for a fair while, they have a good understanding that there is a difference to when I’m coaching and when I’m a dad,” he said.

“I’m harder on my girls than the rest of the team, I demand a fair bit more.”

On the field, he said his girls were fun to be around with constant banter between the family. Sgt Johansen said he couldn’t get his youngest, 12-year-old Jada, into football, however she was heavily involved in sport and runs water on the footy field.

“Being a dad to three girls was a bit of a shock to me, I’ve always wanted to have a boy . . . But I’m lucky my three girls are very sporty, they like the same things I like and enjoy the outdoors and travelling,” he said.

“I find it super enjoyable being a dad to three girls, I love them to bits. They like to let out a few little ‘home secrets’ out at footy training.”

Sgt Johansen, part of police’s co-response mental health team, said the most important part of being a father to his three daughters was being a positive role model to set them on the best path as possible.

“Females have as much of a right to do anything they want in this world, and the gender stigma of ‘women can only do this or do that’ is far from true,” he said.

“Being a bloke I try to pump my girls up and teach them they can do anything that they choose, I’ll back them 100 per cent in any endeavour they go for.”

Sgt Johansen said his hunger to remove the stigma particularly showed through on the football field, which is still considered by many to be a predominately male sport.

“I’m super passionate about women’s football — not just because I have three girls — but because I genuinely believe women can do anything they want,” he said.

“To be the dad of three girls is a really big honour. I’m just doing the best I can with them, I try every day to set them up and make sure when they grow up they will be good young women.”

Jasmine Johansen, one of the GNFLW’s best players this season, said she enjoyed being coached by her father because he was always improving their abilities and mental health.

“He helps us out a lot, tells us what’s good to do and what we should do and how we can improve playing. He’s a good coach, a bit harsh sometimes,” she said.

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