Seven locals travel to Darwin with Woomeras and Medleys

The 2019 AFL Medleys and Rio Tinto AFL Woomeras leadership program begins today, Tuesday March 5, in Darwin.

Currently in its seventh year, the Rio Tinto AFL Woomeras team is the national Under-16 female football Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander development program, while the Medleys is the national Under-16 female Multicultural development program, now in its third year.

Fifty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural players from across the country will participate in a six-day camp focusing on personal and cultural development and high-performance training.

AFL NSW/ACT’s Daniella Rustom, Sarah Heptinstall, Sibella Sarraf, Eman Asaad and Dema Jarrar are in attendance in Darwin as a part of the 2019 AFL Medleys side, while Afeni Tabuai-Salee and Ciarn Larrescy are in attendance with the 2019 Rio Tinto AFL Woomeras.

The program will see participants take part in sessions including cultural education, football education, nutrition, mental health and team bonding.

Held separately, each respective program will train at TIO Stadium before going head-to-head to compete on Saturday, March 9.

This will be the third time an all-Indigenous girls’ team will play an all-Multicultural girls’ squad in an official match.

AFL General Manager of Game Development, Andrew Dillon said the AFL Medleys and Rio Tinto Woomeras programs are a great opportunity for young women to experience football in an elite environment and develop their skills on and off the field.

“We are incredibly excited to be running these programs once again as we have seen how beneficial they have been to so many young Multicultural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women around the country,” Mr Dillon said.

“The AFL Medleys and Rio Tinto Woomeras programs not only provide a platform for players to showcase their great talents, but also provide an opportunity for players to develop leadership skills which they can take back to their respective communities.”

Participants for both programs were selected following a three-stage process where applicants attended state try-outs before being selected for the State Kickstart Team (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) or State All Nations Team (Multicultural).

From these programs, 12 Rio Tinto Woomeras and 12 AFL Medleys will be selected to participate in the AFL Diversity All Stars Program later this year.

Rio Tinto is the official partner to all AFL Indigenous Programs. Rio Tinto is one of Australia’s largest employers of Indigenous people, employing some 1500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women across the nation.

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