UQ and Wests launch U18 women’s team

By Beth Newman

The University of Queensland will join with Wests Juniors to field an U18 girls’ AFL side for the first time this year.

With Wests launching their first U15 girls team and UQ their first senior women’s team in 2013, this U18 side will be a key step in the talent pathway for girls, filling the void between junior and senior football.

The two clubs have a longstanding relationship, with a male colts side already up and running, and Wests president, Ian Selth, said it was a natural fit for the two to expand this into female competition.

“Female football is one of Australia’s fastest growing sports and we are keen to be part of that and assist its growth,” he said.

“From our point of view, it is great to be able to provide the girls with the same player pathway as we’re able to provide the boys, so they can play the game on an equal footing with the boys.”

Selth said expanding their female numbers would benefit the club in the long term as well.

“We’re about diversity and we’re a family oriented club,” he said.

“A number of the girls in our clubs have been asked or sisters of our boys have been saying they want to play and we’re now providing a vehicle for them to do that.

“With any sport, you like to understand what else you can do within the sport and this gives the girls the ability to understand where their progression can be.”

 The new side will be closely linked to UQ’s senior women’s side, training with them regularly, to increase the ties between the two clubs.

For more information or to join the new side, email ladiescoach@redlions.org.au

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