Liv­ing the high­land life

All set for high­land fling

Fremantle Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Leah Roberts

Ail­iana Clark­son, a six-year-old dancer, is get­ting ready to dance her way to the High­land Gath­er­ing and Perth Kilt Run Com­pe­ti­tion.

A SPORTS teacher at John Curtin Col­lege of the Arts has kicked a goal for fe­male footy, recog­nised for run­ning the Most Out­stand­ing Fe­male AFL Pro­gram at the AFL School Am­bas­sador Awards.

Phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion, health and out­door teacher Robert Venn said many fac­tors had in­spired him to cre­ate an AFL pro­gram for girls.

“Most im­por­tantly it was the girls want­ing to play af­ter see­ing the AFLW,” he said.

“The con­ver­sa­tions that were be­ing had by all stu­dents, not just fe­male, in the play­ground were fan­tas­tic,” he said.

“Hav­ing an ex-stu­dent in Sab­rina Fred­er­ick-Traub (play­ing for the Bris­bane Lions) also helped.

“The girls wanted to play, they just needed the op­por­tu­nity.”

Mr Venn said once the girls started they couldn’t be stopped.

“Right now we have been in­volved in our sec­ond year of com­pe­ti­tion,” he said.

“This has seen the Fre­man­tle Dock­ers come into the school to coach both girls and boys in the foot­ball teams.

“The in­ter­est that the girls have has over­flowed to the boys and this year was the first time in 14-15 years that we have also en­tered a boys team into a home and away sea­son that’s set up by the West Aus­tralian Foot­ball Com­mis­sion.”

Cur­rently the pro­gram is run for years 7, 8 and 9 but Mr Venn hopes to ex­pand it to the up­per school.

Mr Venn said he has seen quiet and shy girls be­come more con­fi­dent.

“I’ve seen girls show more lead­er­ship and take more op­por­tu­ni­ties within the school,” he said.

“The knowl­edge of the sport has grown, and some of the girls have no­ticed re­la­tion­ships with oth­ers in fam­ily cir­cles have im­proved be­cause they have some­thing more in com­mon.” AIL­IANA Clark­son is putting on her danc­ing shoes as she pre­pares to com­pete in the Ar­madale High­land Gath­er­ing and Perth Kilt Run on Septem­ber 9 at Min­nawarra Park.

The six-year-old High­land dancer from At­tadale has been danc­ing since she was four years old .

Ail­iana said she was ex­cited to dance at the com­pe­ti­tion.

“I like danc­ing with my friends and the mu­sic is fun,” she said.

“I want to con­tinue danc­ing, like my mum, but she is in a dif­fer­ent grade to me.”

Tom Clark­son said his daugh­ter per­formed many times dur­ing the year.

“They do con­certs, do a range of com­pe­ti­tions, con­certs for re­tire­ments vil­lages and com­mu­nity events,” he said. “It is a beau­ti­ful thing to watch.”­mu­ni­ d485895 Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d485895

A full kit of kilt: Ail­iana Clark­son of At­tadale will be danc­ing at the Ar­madale High­land Gath­er­ing next month.

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