Female Youth Leadership Programs kick off

Life changing moments happen to people every day. It could be something as special as finishing school, going to university, getting your drivers’ licence or leaving home to start your career.

For most teenagers, life is full of structure and routine: school then home then weekend…school then home then holidays… Throw in some sport, socialising and other extra-curricular activities, and you’ve made up some of your life’s best years and most enduring memories.

However, sometimes an event out of the ordinary happens. It can be a once in a lifetime opportunity to make friends or to do something you love at an advanced level. It could be a lesson you learn or something you teach others to positively change their lives. It can be a combination of all these things and many more.

Last week, around 70 young footballers embarked on their journey as recognised leaders in their communities, their schools, their sports clubs and their families. This is their once in a lifetime opportunity.

Over the next three months, these young women will gather regularly as part of the Indigenous Female Youth Leadership Program, supported by Transport for NSW, and the Multicultural Female Youth Leadership Program.

Three online sessions covering leadership principles, cultural training, road safety and other life skills will culminate in a three-day camp in January, where the girls – aged 13 to 16 – will travel from all around NSW and the ACT, descending on the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen.

The camp will put the athletes to the test physically as well as extend their maturity and leadership skills as they hear from professional athletes, motivational speakers and expert educators.

The goals? Develop great athletes who are even better people. Give everyone a unique experience where they can apply lessons learnt on and off the footy field.

The standout footballers from the leadership programs will be selected for the U17 representative sides the Woomeras (Indigenous) and the Medleys (multicultural) which will face off against one another twice in 2022 at the NAB AFLW National Championships.


Who are the participants?

Those invited to be part of the leadership programs missed out on traditional talent identification and testing due to the pandemic. They also saw this program pushed back several months, to ensure a safe environment for the camp.

Instead of attending gruelling testing days, participants supplied AFL NSW/ACT with prescribed data and footage, proving themselves as exceptional athletes.

This digital scouting identified a raft of talent, with the best being selected from Sydney’s east, south and west. There are also players from Canberra, the Central Coast, Shellharbour, Newcastle, the Central West, the North West, Broken Hill and Coffs Harbour.

Last night’s digital introduction to all the players showed a group of eager athletes, ready to get to know one another and learn about themselves as people and as footballers.


Support from Transport for NSW

Transport for NSW is an invaluable supporter of AFL NSW/ACT’s Indigenous Youth Leadership Programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth since 2014.

Through the programs, Transport for NSW has imparted wisdom onto dozens of our young leaders about the importance of road safety and developing leadership in their community by reinforcing road safety messages to help our state move Towards Zero road fatalities by 2056.

Thank you for Transport for NSW’s ongoing support of our young and talented leaders.