The Adelaide Crows have officially launched a unique Indigenous Academy to assist teenage girls to fulfil their football potential.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Female Academy’s inaugural intake will include 32 footballers from across South Australia and will focus on skill acceleration and education – including nutrition, mindfulness and wellness.
Supported by the Cancer Council’s Quitline and the Crows Children’s Foundation, the academy will be coached by former State footballer Bronwyn Davey, while reigning Crows AFLW Club Champion Chelsea Randall will oversee it as part of her Female Talent Officer role at the Club.
Other AFLW players and staff members, including AFLW senior coach, Matthew Clarke, will be part of the training and educational sessions.
It is hoped the academy will help more Indigenous players progress to State representative squads and in turn the AFLW.
There are currently only four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players in the South Australia Under-18 and Under-16 squads, and only one on the Crows AFLW list.
Adelaide’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Fagan, said forging a meaningful and effective pathway for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women was a priority for the Club.
“As an industry, we can always do more to help the next generation of players, coaches and administrators and that includes Indigenous women,” Fagan said.
“Our Club wants to give these girls the best chance to fulfil their potential, and we think the academy will give them the best tools and support to do so.”
As the Academy’s inaugural partners, Cancer Council’s Quitline and the Crows Children’s Foundation’s support will help the Academy with resourcing, staffing and equipment.
Crows Children’s Foundation Chairman, Garry Winter, said the Foundation is extremely proud to be a founding supporter of the Academy.
“The Academy furthers the work of the Club and the Foundation in inspiring and developing young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls through Australian Rules Football,” Winter said.
“The Foundation is looking forward to seeing the quantifiable benefits that this Academy will generate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls now and into the future.”
Cancer Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Prevention and Programs Manager, Peter Thomas said that Quitline is passionate about reducing smoking rates in Aboriginal communities and this partnership allows them to educate young women on the risks.
“Research from Cancer Australia also shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are almost twice as likely to develop and/or die from lung cancer as non-Indigenous people,” Thomas said.
“Being smokefree ensures elite sporting performance and through sport we have a fantastic vehicle to get the smoke free message through.”
“Evidence shows that people who use Quitline to assist in their quit attempt are twice as likely to succeed.
“This partnership with the Adelaide Football Club will enable us to spread that message, particularly with young Indigenous women.”
Three trials have already been held to identify talent, with two metropolitan trials at West Lakes and a regional trial at Port Augusta.