Eastern Suburbs FC have joined in the celebrations of Female Football Week, hosting a free football come and try day for U6-U11 girls at the club on Sunday, 3 March.
Around 30 young girls turned up to the clinic to get a taste of football, with coaches teaching them basic football skills and making sure they had fun in the process.
In conjunction with the clinic, the U9/10 Skill Acquisition Program (SAP) girls had a carnival and the U13 and U15 National Premier Leagues Womens (NPLW) girls also played a match to give girls and parents the opportunity to see some great female footballers in action.
Long-time Club Treasurer and girls NPLW and SAP coordinator Trish Da Rin is passionate about building the participation for female football, especially in the younger age groups.
“My daughter played football at the club and that inspired me to help out in the beginning and then I decided to take on girls’ coordination roles and build the program,” Da Rin said.
“Girls are really satisfying to work with and seeing the development that can occur even with the beginner girls is great.
“I just believe that it is a really good sport for girls in so many ways, from supporting a healthy lifestyle to it being a sport they can play for the rest of their lives.”
The day was a great success, with the coaches creating such a welcoming environment that even the more shy, beginner players had smiles on their faces by the end of the day.
“The final ten or so minutes with the girls all having finished the session was my highlight,” Da Rin said.
“They all looked like they had fun, got some great exercise and the looks on their faces at the end was really pleasing.”
Each child involved got to take home a free football, a Female Football Week t-shirt and a mini Australian flag to cheer on the Westfield Matildas, in the hope that they will continue to play football.
“I’m in the process of contacting all the girls and parents who came along to see where we can go from here with them,” she said.
“We would love it if they could come back even if it’s just for girls’ skills programs alone, and if they would like to join the club even better.”
This isn’t the first time that the club has gotten involved with Female Football Week having promoted their female coaches on social media and holding nights that emphasise female participation in the past.
“Last year we posted on Facebook about our coaches because we had more female coaches we thought than any other club at the time,” said Da Rin.
“We make sure we do something every year but this year was the best yet.”
There’s still time for your club to join in on the celebrations with Female Football Week continuing for the rest of the week.
Words: Zoe Nilsen
Images: Supplied by Eastern Suburbs FC