Glass ceiling hard to kick in

Emma Giles (10-Atwell),Phoebe Hart (11-Atwell),Neve Pursey (10-Atwell) and Nikita-Rose Hart (13-Atwell).
Emma Giles (10-Atwell),Phoebe Hart (11-Atwell),Neve Pursey (10-Atwell) and Nikita-Rose Hart (13-Atwell).

However, opportunities for young girls to play are rare. Up until the age of eight, girls are able to play Auskick to learn the skills of the game but after this, if they want to continue to play most girls have to play in mixed gender teams.

Jandakot Jets’ Kym Hart said the new female league came about because of the growing number of young girls interested.

‘Last year we had the first ever cross-district, all-girls junior football competition, many of whom were passionate enough to start the first junior teams of All Girls Football,’ she said.

‘Participation numbers look great for the first year for all the newly formed teams within South Fremantle and we have the support of some amazing teams who still have places if more girls would like to come down and see about All Girls Football.

‘The girls are itching to get out there and show their passion for football and girls at Jandakot have been training for weeks and just can’t wait for the whistle to blow and the ball to be in play.’

Australian Rules and netball have a lot in common when it comes to children’s participation.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2012, only netball had a bigger discrepancy between male and female participation among young children than Australian Rules football, with more than 212,000 boys nationally playing football compared to just under 14,000 girls.

West Australian Women’s Football League board member and South Fremantle Women’s Football Club president Sally Allomes said it was very important that female participation in football was promoted.

‘There is still a lot of the community that do not realise that there is a healthy female AFL competition with each WAFL district represented,’ she said.

‘Leagues for young girls are very beneficial, as the girls learn their skills at an early age and then have the confidence when they are older and emphasis at this level should be on participation rather than the competition itself.

‘It still is seen as ‘male dominated’ but the skill level of the female players has astounded a lot of the males.’

For more information about joining the Fremantle City Dockers, contact Janine Cowan on j9@westnet.com.au.