AFL Victoria’s new female Indigenous development program Boorimul has officially kicked off, with 28 participants flocking to Punt Road Oval for the inaugural camp last weekend.
Delivered in partnership with the Richmond Football Club and VicHealth, the Boorimul program identifies and develops young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) women, to not only maximise their football potential, but develop them as culturally affirmed and resilient community members.
In addition to enhancing on-field talent, the Boorimul program aims to increase the representation of Indigenous women across all areas of Australian Football, with opportunities for participants to engage with the sport through umpiring, coaching and administrative work in the AFL.
The first of three camps rolled out at Richmond’s Swinburne Centre, with participants from across Victoria gathering for a two-day program that consisted of on-field training sessions as well as education and cultural awareness sessions.
Participants heard from a number of guest speakers, including Indigenous woman and two-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Shantelle Thompson share her story on resilience.
A highlight of the program saw the aspiring female footballers also attend Saturday night’s AFLW match between Carlton and Brisbane.
The participants, aged under-18, were selected from last November’s Koorie Women’s Football Carnival, open try outs and the AFL’s Female Kickstart Programs.
AFL Victoria Female Indigenous Programs Coordinator Lily Graham said it was great to be able to provide an opportunity for the next generation of Indigenous female participants to establish a pathway into Australian Football.
“The opportunity to provide a platform for 28 young Indigenous females to not only learn more about the game, but also understand more about their culture and themselves is something we are really proud of,” she said.
“The participants enjoyed a host of activities across the two-day Boorimul Program camp including nutritional and health sessions, football education sessions and also attended an AFL Women’s game.
“A number of the participants had never been to an AFL Women’s game before, so it was great for them experience the match and see the on-filed opportunities available for them within the female talent pathway.”
The inaugural Boorimul group will return to Melbourne for the second camp in March, then the third and final phase in May when they will play a curtain-raiser in the Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s Round 2 match between Richmond and Darebin Falcons.