AFL South Coast launches new girls Under 15s Competition
Originally published by Illawarra Mercury
AFL has entered a new era in the Illawarra after the girls under 15s competition kicked off last Friday night.
Launched to provide a link between the Illawarra under 12 girls competition and the open women’s championships, the new series has received considerable support from local AFL clubs.
The first season has seen six clubs enter teams, with North Dalton Park hosting three matches on Friday nights for a ten-week competition.
AFL South Coast Female Ambassador Nicola Kennedy said the first evening received rave reviews from players and parents involved.
“It was a big success,” Kennedy said. “Everyone had a real good time, it was a bit windy, but overall a really good night. The clubs got around it, we had a lot of parents there and a number of the junior boys came down to support the competition, which was good to see.
“I had a comment from one parent saying her daughter was buzzing for the whole day, saying it was better than league tag and she was absolutely hooked.”
Kennedy said that while a number of girls have transitioned from Auskick to the competition, the majority of the players are new to the sport.
With this in mind, the competition has taken on a heavy developmental focus to ensure the girls receive a safe introduction to the sport in a fun, friendly environment.
“We’ve had a few girls that have played all the way through, but the majority have come across from other sports, so we’re focusing on skills and teamwork rather than who wins.
“There’s definitely that focus on skill development and an introduction to contact for the girls.”
While the competition is currently being played with reduced numbers on the field, Kennedy hopes to see the competition grow to the point that it runs parallel to the boys competition on a Sunday morning, with a full 16 players taking to the field.
Registrations for the competition are still open and any girls interested in signing up should visit play.afl to find their local AFL club.