Football Queensland (FQ), in partnership with Welcome to the Game, recently held a six-week health and wellness program for female students at Yeronga State High School.
The multi-sport Kick Start Girls Active Program was designed to encourage young women to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, and took a holistic well-being approach to encourage participants to think about concepts like confidence, assertiveness and decision-making.
The program also provided an opportunity for girls to get involved in sports they may not be able to do outside of the school environment, including football.
Maia Tua-Davidson from Welcome to the Game said the program recognises the importance of being active from a young age.
“We know the hugely positive social, mental and physical benefits of being active and we want to inspire these young women to be confident in their physical abilities and to be active for life,” Tua-Davidson said.
As part of the after school program, one session included a mini World Cup tournament to coincide with the 2019 Women’s World Cup, which saw a record number of 32 girls participate and represent a nation in a five-a-side tournament.
Football Queensland (FQ) Women & Girls Development Officer Kerry Hammersley said the program was an effective way to teach girls the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, while also helping them find pathways into structured sports environments.
“The program has been designed to give girls opportunities and pathways into sport and was delivered with a holistic approach so girls can also gain life skills whilst being encouraged to lead an active lifestyle,” Hammersley said.
“Each week the girls took part in a multi-sport and activity-based session to help participants get fit, learn new skills, make new friends and have fun,” Hammersley said.
While participants refined these skills, Tua-Davidson said they did so with a focus on fun and participation.
“A key component is that each session has a positive impact on them, so that on that day they can take home the feeling of success, of achievement, of connection with others and the physiological kick of endorphins that we all get from physical activity,” Tua-Davidson said.
“They can share that with their friends and family and hopefully continue to build a relationship with physical activity that will encourage them to be active for life.”