Girls get own ses­sion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Girls were cen­tre-field at Wind­ley School last week, re­ceiv­ing coach­ing from a pro­fes­sional soc­cer player to cel­e­brate ‘‘fe­males in foot­ball’’ week.

Wind­ley is the first school in Porirua to trial a Sport and Re­cre­ation New Zealand (Sparc) scheme of­fer­ing pupils an eight-week soc­cer coach­ing course.

Nor­mally girls and boys play to­gether but last Tues­day the girls had their own coach­ing ses­sion and game to recog­nise New Zealand foot­ball’s Girls’ and Women’s Week.

Wind­ley girls of all ages were coached by 25-year-old Emma Humphries, who played cen­tre mid­field for New Zealand’s Foot­ball Ferns at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China.

The idea of girls-only foot­ball in schools is to give girls con­fi­dence and a safe space to try the sport, Ms Humphries says.

‘‘They have dif­fer­ent na­tures, girls and boys. Not ev­ery girl wants to get muddy.’’

The rules of the game stay the same, but cer­tain mod­i­fi­ca­tions are made, es­pe­cially for younger play­ers, such as a smaller play­ing field and no goal keep­ers, she says.

If girls find they en­joy the beau­ti­ful game, they can play in girls-only leagues this sum­mer.

‘‘The idea is that girls who play net­ball in win­ter can play foot­ball in sum­mer,’’ Ms Humphries says.

Seventy-eight teams na­tion­wide are al­ready signed up for the league, which takes ad­van­tage of empty play­ing fields dur­ing sum­mer, foot­ball’s off-sea­son.

Wind­ley School’s year 1 and 2 pupils showed huge po­ten­tial and en­thu­si­asm for foot­ball last week, but will need a few more weeks’ coach­ing be­fore they are ready for league-level sport.

‘‘We’re still teach­ing them which way to run,’’ Ms Humphries says.

Seven-year-old Moana Tipa, who played with her class­mates as ‘‘Ja­pan’’ last week, says the sport is chal­leng­ing.

‘‘It was hard get­ting goals be­cause ‘China’ kept on kick­ing back to their goal,’’ she says.

She says girls-only foot­ball is bet­ter than play­ing with boys. ‘‘[It’s] not fun be­cause they make us fall down.’’

The girls-only sum­mer leagues kick off in Oc­to­ber. To find a lo­cal team, con­tact Emma Humphries at Cap­i­tal Foot­ball, 212 6551.

Girls only: Wind­ley School girls got a pro­fes­sional soc­cer les­son from former Foot­ball Ferns player Emma Humphries last week for NZ Foot­ball’s Girls’ and Women’s Week. Pic­tured is Emma with Wind­ley’s year 1 and 2 class. Sit­ting are Broklyn Palu, Melan Io­sua-Taupe, Moana Tipa, Hope Calder, Masina Evaga, and Shakira Munro. Stand­ing be­hind are Eturienar Risale, Tiane Luti, Egypt Nepia and Ash­leigh Ono-Tino.

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