Tuesday, 23rd August, 2011
For decades in Broken Hill men have had Aussie Rules all to themselves but now a push is on to introduce a competition for local women next year.
A skills session and registration event will be held at Jubilee Oval tomorrow afternoon for would-be female footballers interested in the concept which has the backing of the BH Football League.
The session starts at 5.30pm and will be conducted by members of the Shinglebacks. It is open to girls aged 14 years and older.
Shinglebacks’ President Terry Anderson said participants would be taught how to handball and kick at the session which will act as a curtain-raiser to the Under 18 grand final.
“Providing we get good numbers we can do a variety of training drills and play some non-contact games,” Mr Anderson said.
The session will conclude with a ‘long kicking’ competition.
BHFL grounds manager Tegan King said there was considerable interest within the community to introduce a female football competition next year.
“Hopefully we get good numbers at this skills session and the four local clubs embrace the idea for 2012,” she said.
Shinglebacks member Peter Nash said he was surprised at the profile that women’s AFL already had in Australia and there was no reason why it could not be developed in Broken Hill.
“Aussie Rules for women is a huge growth sport in Australia with the national carnival recently completed in Glenelg,” he said.
“In late September the national under-18 finals for ladies will be played on the Gold Coast.
“When you research the AFL website there is contacts for State bodies all over Australia and with national carnivals etc.
“Locally women already support soccer and netball, so I feel confident many of these players could make the transition to AFL,” Mr Nash continued.
The success of inter-high school games also suggested a female competition could get up, he said, adding that insurance and registration hurdles needed to be overcome.
“In 2012 we could get teams for all four clubs and the girls could play about six games per year (rounds 4, 5, 6 and round 10, 11, 12),” Mr Nash said.
A grand final could then be played as the curtain raiser to the Under 18’s grand final next year.
“I see many advantages for the introduction of ladies AFL for the local clubs as it will generate more interest within each club, and may increase spectator numbers for the BHFL.
“By moving B grade forward 30 minutes and delaying A grade 30 minutes on these rounds we could open up a 1 hour prime time slot for the girls.
“The first and most important step is for all the interested women to attend the skills session and registration event tomorrow at 5.30pm.”
People wanting more information should contact Peter Nash (0427-095-091) or Andrew Schmidt (0402-844-712).