There is now a local pathway for Kiama girls and women who love their footy.
With the opportunity to play in a competition stretching from Bulli to Ulladulla, a team of women in Kiama are taking up Australian Rules football.
Most of the Kiama Power squad (75 per cent) describe themselves as athletic girls who have never played Aussie Rules before.
The newly-formed competition will be an ideal platform for beginners according to player Brianna Dalgleish, who played for the Wollongong Saints last season.
“It’s better for beginners than the Sydney comp,” she said.
“It will have more people starting from scratch."
The team is comprised of women aged 15 to 44, and there’s room for more recruits.
“It’s not for the faint-hearted,” Sharon Kingdon said.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you’re sporty and willing to train, come and join us.”
Sharon and many of her team mates have done surf club their whole lives, and keenly await the new challenge.
There will be three age divisions – seniors, under 15’s and under 12’s, and at this stage Kiama will field an under 12’s and senior’s team.
They train on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.30pm, seniors play on Saturday, and under 12’s play on Sunday.
“I think the AFLW league has drawn a lot of interest from girls, realising they can play at a professional level,” AFL South Coast female ambassador Nicci Kennedy said.
“Now there’s a local pathway.
“The thing girls love about Aussie Rules is the contact – there aren’t many other contact sports for women.”
For young girls, like Kiama’s Freya Flanagan, who has played footy in the boys competition until now, she’s looking forward to getting a fairer share of the ball.
Once kids hit puberty, and boys get rougher, a lot of girls tend to stop playing Aus Kick.
The hope is, with the new under 12’s girls competition, fielding eight teams, girls like Freya will continue to play.
At this stage, eight clubs have registered for the seniors competition, and four have registered for the newly-announced under 15’s competition.