John Curtin teacher inspires budding female football players to reach for the stars

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A SPORTS teacher at John Curtin College of the Arts has kicked a goal for female footy, recognised for running the Most Outstanding Female AFL Program at the AFL School Ambassador Awards.

Physical education, health and outdoor teacher Robert Venn said many factors had inspired him to create an AFL program for girls.

“Most importantly it was the girls wanting to play after seeing the AFLW,” he said.

“The conversations that were being had by all students, not just female, in the play ground were fantastic,” he said.

“Having an ex-student in Sabrina Frederick-Traub (playing for the Brisbane Lions) also helped, the girls wanted to play, they just needed to have the opportunity.”

Mr Venn said once the girls started they couldn’t be stopped.

“Right now we have been involved in our second year of competition,” he said.

“This has seen the Fremantle Dockers come into the school to coach both girls and boys in the football teams.

“The interest that the girls have has over flowed to the boys and this year was the first time in 14-15 years that we have also entered a boys team into a home and away season that’s set up by the West Australian Football Commission.”

Currently the program is run for years 7, 8 and 9 but Mr Venn hopes to expand to the upper school.

Mr Venn said he has seen quiet and shy girls become more confident.

“I’ve seen girls show more leadership and take more opportunities within the school,” he said.

“The knowledge of the sport has grown, and some of the girls have noticed relationships with others in family circles have improved because they have something more in common.”