A DREAM to play Aussie Rules led Pippa Stewart to field a team of young girls as part of the Claremont Girls Junior Football Club.
The 11-year-old, who started playing at the age of four, said she began playing in pre-primary before starting with the AFL Auskick program.
Mum Fiona said following her stint with the Auskick program, Pippa had no other football pathway so begged her dad and the club to start an all girls team in order to continue playing.
“There was possibility to join the Claremont District Girls competition with six other teams in the district but she had to find the girls in our local area first,” Fiona said.
“She worked hard at recruiting enough girls through January to March to get enough girls to form a team and join up to the competition.”
Pippa, who lists her beloved Fremantle Football Club’s star Nat Fyfe as the best player in the competition, said she feared she would be kicked out of the sport had she not recruited a team.
“Last football season I was worried I would be kicked out because after Year 7 girls can’t play in the boy’s competition so I thought if I had a girl’s team up and running I could keep playing for as long as I liked,” she said.
“I will continue to play with the boys as well for the next two years and then just stick to the girl’s competition.
“I am enjoying both because I get lots of practice.”
The team has played three games this season and will host all seven teams at their home ground at College Park Claremont.
Pippa said her dream to play in the big league was now a step closer to being realised with the introduction of an AFL national women’s competition from next year and a Fremantle Football Club women’s side.
“I hope one day if I am good enough I can play for the Dockers in the AFL,” she said.
To join the club, email Kim Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.