Growing girl power is set for elite path
IT’S been girl power all the way in the AFL, with the establishment of the first ever female AFL academies in NSW and the ACT this year and a national women’s competition planned for 2017.
The female focus is no surprise, given the huge growth of girls taking part in AFL Auskick programs.
More than 50,000 children participated in AFL Auskick programs in 2015 and girls were the fastest-growing segment, accounting for almost 18,000 participants.
AFL NSW/ACT chief executive Sam Graham is thrilled with that growth.
“Together with the establishment of a NSW Female Talent Academy and the announcement of a national female competition launching soon, girls in NSW now have a pathway to elite competitions,” Graham said.
“Of course, the priority at junior level is always fun, and we continue to evolve programs to provide the most enjoyable and inclusive environment for young people from all backgrounds to be introduced to the game.”
The fun way to get a taste of the game is the NAB AFL Auskick program, which makes learning to play AFL fun, safe and easy for boys and girls.
Through weekly coaching sessions children are able to learn the skills of the game in an exciting, social and safe environment.
Players can choose from After-School programs, In School programs (both four to six weeks) and Club Auskick programs (12 weeks and more). Auskick participants receive a backpack, lunch box or boot bag, depending on the program.
The Auskick offer also includes Red Rookie or GMan’s GIANTS Membership and specific programs offer Game Day Live Family Passes to Swans/GIANTS Home Games. For added incentive, there is also the Auskicker of the Year Competition.
NSW/ACT had three NAB AFL Auskicker of the Year Nominees for last year: Ella Eagleton of Willoughby Wildcats, Lincoln Summons from Kellyville Rouse Hill and Zach Lambert from Thurgoona.
The prize included an AFL Grand Final Experience playing at halftime and handing out medals to the premiership winning players.
Kicking into the future . . . more than 50,000 youngsters took part in AFL Auskick programs in 2015.
Girls are the fastest-growing segment in AFL Auskick.