FEMALE participation in football at the Victoria Point Sharks Club has experienced significant growth in the past three years.
Victoria Point Sharks Junior Australia Football Club president Justin Stone said the number of females in the club had grown from two in 2016 to 92 last year, with the club currently having the highest female youth football participation levels in the state.
“The Sharks are projecting well over 115 girls participating in footy in 2019,” Mr Stone said.
Football operations co-ordinator Tyler Hayes attributed the rapid growth to increased promotion by the club.
“Trevor (Mayhew, female football co-ordinator) came on board in 2017 with the vision to grow what was a little playing base for girls footy,” Mr Hayes said.
“Through his promotion as well as the organisation of the Sharks Challenge – a competition where we invite all the schools in our catchment to come and play some Aussie rules – girls get exposed to our great game and come on board full time.”
Mr Hayes said the club was in the process of adapting its facilities and staff to the new population of female players.
“Female participants are at a greater risk than their male counterparts when it comes to serious injuries,” he said.
“(We have enlisted) the help of market leading physiotherapists from Restore Function who look after the Brisbane Lions Women’s team.”
The club also received funding for new changing room facilities which Mr Stone said would be built under AFL female football guidelines.
The club currently has seven girls' teams, and Mr Stone said senior women’s football would be introduced in 2020.
Mr Hayes said there was a corresponding increase in opportunities for women in football at a professional and competition level.
“With the introduction of the AFLW along with the continued growth and development of AFL Queensland junior and senior female competitions, we can provide our girls with the pathway to take their football to the highest level possible,” he said.
“The sky is the limit for girls’ footy.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.