By Larissa Mouttou
The best Youth Girls players Northern Queensland has to offer will come together for the Inaugural North Queensland Youth Girls Academy Championships hosted at Airlie Beach this weekend.
This is a historic moment for female sport in North Queensland, being the first year Under 14 Youth Girls have been included in the AFLQ Player Pathway, proudly partnered by Bond University.
North Queensland has seen an explosion in female participation over the past few years. The investment AFL Queensland Regional staff and our Leagues have made in Auskick, Schools and Clubs culminating in this weekend’s event.
Teams from Capricornia, Mackay, Townsville, Cape York and Cairns will come together for both Under 17 and Under 14’s matches. From the Under 17’s matches the Central Queensland Team for the State Championships will be selected. The Under 14’s will be fighting it out for selection in the Under 14 North Queensland Team for the State Championships.
Richie Lyons, AFL Queensland Gold Coast Suns Regional Manager, expressed his gratitude to all those who have made the first ever Youth Girls Academy Championship possible.
“AFL Queensland and AFL Mackay would like to thank all the wonderful volunteers, umpires, coaches, players and most importantly, the parents, for their dedication”, Lyons said when speaking to aflq.com.au.
“We are excited to see what these young women can achieve.”
Members of the Queensland Country Umpiring Academy will officiate over the matches in Airlie Beach, giving not only young female players, but also up and coming umpires an opportunity to develop their skills.
Community Umpire Development Manager, Nicholas Liparota, spoke about the role of the Academy in developing future NEAFL and AFL Umpires.
“Members of the Umpiring Academy receive the same coaching sessions as their South East Queensland equivalents, with sessions delivered online”, Liparota said.
“The umpires selected for this weekend have been identified by their Regional Umpiring Manager as talented prospects, with potential to reach higher levels of football.”
Check out all the Youth Girls action at Airlie Beach Sports Park this Friday, Saturday and Sunday!