The Kickstart program has been a key driver in developing young male indigenous footballers for more than six years and now incorporates a Youth Girls component to help cater for the growing number of girls playing football.
The Female Program is football based and does allow the girls to have the opportunity to improve their skills, but it heavily focused on developing young leaders and strengthening their knowledge of their cultural heritage.
In a milestone for both indigenous and female football, the first ever Kickstart Youth Girls National Championships was held in Melbourne from September 8-13, and involved teams from every state of Australia. Teams competed in a special nine-a-side format, with a champion to be crowned at the end of what is sure to be an exciting week of football.
The Victorian side was chosen through two trial days both held at Richmond FC in conjunction with the Korin Gamadji Institute. Over 40 participants took place in the two days which was a great outcome to see so many girls looking to represent their communities while playing football.
Victoria was represented by a squad of 12, while also supplying nine players to a combined Victoria/Tasmania side.
The week of the championships was a celebration of indigenous football and includes education sessions on nutrition, injury prevention and personal well-being, as well as opportunities to meet and listen to positive female role models.
The Victorian side defeated every side during the championships but fell short in the grand final, final, a great result for the players in the inaugural year of the championships.
At the completion of the carnival, 12 Victorian girls (8 Vic side, 4 Vic/Tas side) were chosen to be part of the initial squad of 40 for the first ever Female Flying Boomerangs side. This is a great indication of the talent that is possessed with Female footy throughout Indigenous communities in Victoria.
AFL Victoria’s Indigenous Programs Manager Aaron Clark
ph: 8341 6069 email: firstname.lastname@example.org