PORT ADELAIDE’s Australian-first Women’s Aboriginal AFL Academy (WAAA) is all about educational outcomes and providing opportunities for the next generation of leaders, but after spending much of the first term in the classroom, the girls finally got out on the footy field recently for their first official match.
The WAAA girls travelled to Henley High School to take on the open girls’ team from the sports school on Henley Beach Road.
In perfect conditions, the WAAA girls got on top early through physicality, teamwork and speed, and they were never headed, going on to record a 51-point win.
The academy follows on from the success over the past four years of the Port Adelaide Aboriginal AFL Academy for young men.
29 girls in years 11 and 12 are taking part in the weekly sessions, with some coming from as far away as Darwin and Alice Springs as well as from across South Australia, including Port Augusta, Ceduna and parts of the Yorke Peninsula.
They will each complete a Certificate III in Fitness, which provides 100 SACE credits
Tesharna Maher was one of the WAAA’s better players on the day.
She said the Henley team was quick and full of great competitors.
“We’d never played a game together before so it was good getting our first win,” she said.
“Having fun was the key and if we win as well that’s great but just being out there with your sister girls is the best.
“I feel like we’ve connected so well, we’ve only had three training sessions together so it was pretty good to top it with a win.”
WAAA Coach Bronwyn Davey was pleased with her side’s performance but said her team needed to improve its fitness.
“We’ve been training for the last seven or eight weeks and I’ve been putting them through conditioning, which a majority of them have never dealt with or experienced in their lives,” she said.
“I guess it’s an awesome feeling for the girls (to win) because they came out a little bit nervous but my key message
“For them to be rewarded for their education is a great idea.”
WAAA will play its next game against Immanuel College, early in term two, before playing against St Michael’s College in a curtain-raiser to Port Adelaide’s AFL clash against the Western Bulldogs in Round 13.
WAAA 10.5-65 def Henley High School 2.2-14
Goals: Shahleena McCarthy Martin 3, Doreena Hansen 2, Haley Pickering, Chelsea Cole Phillips, Amber Lindsay,
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