Other codes a boost

Cockburn Gazette - - LOCAL SPORTS STARS -

di­rect mar­ket­ing through so­cial me­dia, vis­it­ing schools etc,” he said.

“The next few years you ex­pect the big sports par­tic­i­pa­tion num­bers to grow due to the re­sources, but there will be al­ways a sec­tion of the com­mu­nity that doesn’t want to en­gage in that sport and we as a sport need to be ready with an op­tion so they have an al­ter­na­tive.

“Where we dif­fer how­ever, is in soft­ball we have a huge op­por­tu­nity to lever­age from what AFL and cricket can’t of­fer, which is the Olympics and col­lege op­por­tu­ni­ties in the US.

“The op­por­tu­nity to play for your coun­try on the big­gest stage at the Olympics or ob­tain an ed­u­ca­tion that lasts a life­time is some­thing both of those sports can’t of­fer yet.”

Wan­neroo Dis­tricts Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s Sal­lie HoyPoy said their com­pe­ti­tion worked by way of in­di­vid­u­als rather than gen­der, but de­spite this had lit­tle re­sponse from boys want­ing to play.

“We have al­ways al­lowed boys to play along­side girls in our com­pe­ti­tion up to the age of 12 with no re­stric­tions,” Mrs HoyPoy said.

“We have more than 2000 girls up to age 12 play­ing on a Satur­day morn­ing in our win­ter com­pe­ti­tion from May to Septem­ber at Kingsway, how­ever we only ever get a hand­ful of boys play­ing.”

Mrs HoyPoy said the as­so­ci­a­tion even in­tro­duced an U15-boys-only grade this year be­cause of the gap in the de­vel­op­ment

A child should be able to par­tic­i­pate in the sport they choose with­out fear of dis­crim­i­na­tion based on gen­der or abil­ity.

path­way for boys, but had had lit­tle to no re­sponse so far.

She said she did not think AFLW had af­fected regis­tra­tions and be­lieved the Su­per Net­ball League was a pos­i­tive step for­ward for women’s sport in Aus­tralia.

“Ev­ery year we see growth in the par­tic­i­pa­tion of girls in net­ball and we have a very ac­tive board of di­rec­tors who vol­un­teer hun­dreds of hours to en­sure we have a fan­tas­tic com­pe­ti­tion avail­able to chil­dren of all ages and abil­i­ties,” she said. “The in­tro­duc­tion of the AFLW com­pe­ti­tion does not ap­pear to have af­fected our regis­tra­tions at this point in time and I be­lieve that we can all work to­gether to en­cour­age chil­dren to par­tic­i­pate in sport.

“In some ar­eas of Perth they are run­ning a girls’ foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion on Fri­day af­ter­noons so that girls can par­tic­i­pate in both sports.

“The elite play­ers of the Su­per Net­ball League are amaz­ing role mod­els for our chil­dren and pro­mote healthy lifestyles, team spirit and many more strong qual­i­ties.

“Any child should be able to par­tic­i­pate in what­ever sport they choose with­out fear of dis­crim­i­na­tion based on gen­der or abil­ity.”

Swan Dis­tricts Fe­male Foot­ball coach­ing di­rec­tor Ni­cole Graves said by pro­mot­ing and de­vel­op­ing the path­way, the AFL had en­sured the op­por­tu­nity for women and girls for the fu­ture.

“Be­ing in­volved in any com­mu­nity sport is pow­er­ful but foot­ball be­ing such a large sport and so ac­ces­si­ble, the op­por­tu­nity for lit­tle girls and boys to be in­spired to play footy will help sup­port a whole gen­er­a­tion of ac­tive young peo­ple, es­pe­cially girls,” she said.

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