A freshly minted and already celebrated program to embrace adult females into football is about to roll out at two North Coast Football locations – Nambucca Heads and South Grafton.
Known as Kick-On for Women, it’s specifically aimed at those who have either never played the game, or haven’t played for a long time.
The emphasis is on participation and fun – and it’s delivered in bite-sized 45-minute weekly parcels on Monday evenings, so is friendly for time-challenged mums and those juggling paid employment.
Michelle Forbes, Project Officer for Northern NSW Football, said Kick-On for Women provides a space for adult females where the focus is on “enjoyment and inclusion”.
The program took its first steps at the end of last year, and continued in Term 1 in 2020 – and after the COVID-19 disruptor, is looking to restart now in Term 4, with October 19 being the first night.
“We’ve had more than 850 women go through it already,” Michelle said. “It is – wow!”
But don’t just take Michelle’s words for it, here’s what Sandy Grieves (Junction Hill, Grafton) found of the experience:
“I joined Kick-On for Women to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone, to meet new people and do something I’ve always wanted to do but was too afraid of failing or falling. At the first session I was a little nervous but that was soon replaced with laughter, excitement and fun.
“It was so much fun and I came home with a big smile after every session.
“It’s a great way to make new friends. Everyone could use more laughter and exercise in their day. It’s such an accepting environment where you don’t need to worry about your appearance, skill or fitness levels. There are different shapes and sizes and there’s just no judgement.
“I will definitely be signing up for the next round.”
Kick-On for Women is not framed as a pathway to playing in regular competition football – quite the opposite.
But by building up the personal physical activity and confidence of participants – it can strengthen connections to the game for women whose children or spouse might play.
Michelle said it can also enthuse people to get involved with their local club through things like MiniRoos coaching, or in an administrative role.
So what does a typical 45-minute Kick-On for Women session look like?
“We have a welcome, a warm-up, there’ll be skill introduction so we’ll teach them how to kick a ball for instance, and there’s small-sided games,” Michelle said.
“It’s all about increasing participation for females who may never go into traditional football.”
To take advantage of this program at Nambucca or Grafton, participants need to be at least 16 years of age – “and if you’re 99 or 100, still mobile and have a good attitude then we’d love to hear from you too,” Michelle said.
The program is funded by a SportAus grant, allowing program fees to remain at $50 per participant per term.
NNSWF Head of Football, Peter Haynes, said Kick-On for Women encouraged women to become active, energised and connected.
“Women’s football is growing quickly so we need to do whatever we can to assist that growth and support the women’s game,” Peter said.
How to get onboard
Nambucca Heads (Coffs Harbour), Mondays start date: 19/10/20, end date: 7/12/20. Time: 6.15pm-7pm. Venue: Coronation Park, Short Street, Nambucca Heads. Cost: $50. Register Here.
South Grafton, Mondays start date: 19/10/20, end date: 9/12/20. Time: 6.30pm-7.15pm. Venue: Rushforth Park, Field 3A, 5 Skinner St, South Grafton. Cost: $50. Register Here.