The 2019 AFL Medleys and Rio Tinto AFL Woomeras leadership program began yesterday in Darwin with the Northern Territory represented by six participants.
The Rio Tinto AFL Woomeras team is the national under-16 female football Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander development program, while the Medleys is the national under-16 female Multicultural development program which is now in its third year and the program is currently in its seventh year.
2018 Under 15 All Australian, J’Noemi Anderson from the St Mary’s Football Club joins five other Territorians in the Woomeras squad including Jasmine Bathern from Rovers Football Club in Alice Springs, Georgina Runyu from the Big Rivers Hawks in Katherine, Marietta Puautjimi from the Tiwi Bombers, Kaya Mununggurr who is from Yirrkala and plays for the Darwin Buffaloes and Kyanne Campbell from Central Australia.
A total of 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multicultural players from across the country will participate in the six-day camp focusing on personal and cultural development and high-performance training.
The program is based at the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre and will see the participants use the state of the art facilities and partake in educational sessions including cultural education, football education, nutrition, mental health and team bonding.
Each respective program is held separately and will train at TIO Stadium before playing practice games against the NT Thunder Academy on Thursday night and against one another on Saturday 9 March on NTFL Women’s Grand Final day. This will be the third time an all-Indigenous girls’ team will play an all-Multicultural girls’ squad in an official match.
AFL General Manager of Game Development Andrew Dillon said the AFL Medleys and Rio Tinto Woomeras programs are a great opportunity for young women to experience football in an elite environment and develop their skills on and off the field.
“We are incredibly excited to be running these programs once again as we have seen how beneficial they have been to so many young Multicultural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women around the country,” Mr Dillon said.
“The AFL Medleys and Rio Tinto Woomeras programs not only provide a platform for players to showcase their great talents, but also provide an opportunity for players to develop leadership skills which they can take back to their respective communities.”
Participants for both programs were selected following a three-stage process where applicants attended state try-outs before being selected for the State/Territory Kickstart Team (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) or State/Territory All Nations Team (Multicultural).
From these programs, 12 Rio Tinto Woomeras and 12 AFL Medleys will be selected to participate in the AFL Diversity All Stars Program later this year.
Rio Tinto is the principal partner to all the AFL’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs. Rio Tinto is one of Australia’s largest employers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.