The much anticipated inaugural AFL Sunshine Coast Junior Youth Girls competition has launched.
Kicking like a girl was something to be celebrated on Friday April 20 at Maroochydore Multi Sport Complex when the local youth girls took centre stage.
The much anticipated inaugural AFL Sunshine Coast Junior Youth Girls competition hit the ground running with six clubs fielding teams.
Teams from Noosa, Coolum Beach, Nambour and Hinterland, Maroochydore, Kawana Park and Caloundra players pulled on their club apparel and played some sensational footy admired by a solid crowd of AFL spectators.
Sunshine Coast Club Development Officer, Paul Tresise believes that if the launch of Youth Girls competition is anything to go by the remainder of the competition will be massive and hopefully grow to 100 Youth Girls participants.
“We are rapt with the turn out on Friday night, not only from a playing perspective but with 200 plus spectators looking on it really met all of our expectations,” Tresise said.
“To have six clubs put the time and effort into getting these teams off the ground is really something they should be proud of as it is a credit to their surrounding communities.
“A lot of the coaches and managers having been doing some serious recruiting and its paid off with more than full teams…having received numerous phone calls I am confident individual team numbers will grow as the season progresses.”
Tresise said that it was great to see the support of local council and government representatives in the form of MP Fiona Simpson, MP Steve Dickson and Local Councillor Ted Hungerford.
The official Youth Girls function was attended by 30 dignitaries including club presidents, Sport and Recreation Queensland representatives, Active After-School Communities representative, sponsors and those mentioned from Local Council and State Government.
The official launch saw the six teams divided into two pools for ‘NAB Cup style’ games with each team playing two games throughout the evening.
On field one Nambour and Hinterland Blues, Kawana Park Eagles and Noosa Tigers proved a tough pool with all teams putting on a display of kicking, handballing, making and tackling skills that impressed everyone, none more so than the Blues Manager, Steve Wheeler.
“The girls have really impressive skills and considering that they have not had too much training it really is outstanding,” Wheeler said.
“Even watching their games they are improving every half by hundreds of per cent both skill wise and athletically.”
On field two Caloundra Panthers, Maroochydore Roos and Coolum Beach Breakers really provided a touch of class to the night with some spectacular marks and solid team work across the board.
Coolum Beach Breakers President, Glenn Farrow came down to watch the action and was pleasantly surprised with the level of skill and game sense.
“It has been an awesome night and it is just great to see the girls getting involved in AFL,” Farrow said.
“All of the girls have smiles on their faces and to me, that is all we are after, if the girls are having fun then AFL will continue to flourish on the Sunshine Coast.”
Both fields were umpired by two up-and-coming female AFL Sunshine Coast umpires who were pumped to be involved in the launch.
Emma Dunn and Ariana Magini maintained control and enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of the competition. Both girls hope to be involved in the competition throughout 2012 to nurture and support the players in their AFL endeavours.
The words enthusiasm and enthusiastic were thrown about quiet freely throughout the night, and no doubt throughout the season, which reflects how much fun all of the participants had. Right from the word go, or in this case, right from the national anthem the girls were out to have fun in the mud and play some footy under lights.
As Advance Australia Fair was belted out across the speakers the six Youth Girls teams drowned out the audio proudly singing in anticipation of the night ahead that did not disappoint.
Maroochydore player Harmony Brown was ecstatic with the night and said she cannot wait for the competition to get into full swing.
“It is so much fun and our girls are going really well,” she said.
“It is awesome because you tackle and run and it is just awesome.”
The launch was proudly sponsored by Choices Maroochydore who was more than happy to support this competition over the next three years according to owners Debbie and Shane Linton.
“Tonight has been a fantastic night and it is really great to not only see the girls getting involved but the support that the AFL community has thrown behind the competition has been phenomenal and we are more than happy to put our brand and financial support into the competition,” Linton said.
The Brisbane Lions also donated some pink AFL Sherrin footballs signed by local boy, Josh
Drummond, which was given out to the one player in each team as a coach’s award.
Caloundra: Tahlia Waldron
Kawana Park: Sharna King
Maroochydore: Elizabeth Coogan West.
Noosa: Georgie Bain
Coolum Beach: Chelsea Boyd
Nambour and Hinterland: Brittany Mugliett
Sunshine Coast Development Manager, Mark Kennedy was pleased with the launch and said that the competition will enable more girls the opportunity to get involved.
“There has been an increasing demand on the Sunshine Coast over the last couple of years for a Youth Girls competition to get up and running,” Kennedy said.
“Our school based competitions have been growing from strength to strength which has really provided the demand and support for a competition such as this.
“We are really looking forward to what the season will bring to the game and community awareness up here on the Coast.”
This weekend round one will kick off with Nambour and Hinterland Blues taking on Maroochydore Roos at Jubilee Drive, Palmwoods on Friday night April 27 from 7:15pm.
On Sunday April 29, Kawana Park Eagles are at home to Caloundra Panthers from 9am, while at Weyba Road the Noosa Tigers will take on Coolum Beach Breakers at 9am.
For more information on AFL Sunshine Coast Youth Girls football head to our Facebook Page and check out the photos from the launch as well as some highlights video footage.