Ministry of Sport

Start-Up Launches National Opportunities For Girls Playing Football At Grassroots Level

Next Gen, a national sports academy based in Melbourne, is expanding their junior football program nationally, having received overwhelming interest from their launch in term 4 2018.

Partially founded by AFL footballers Jake Melksham (Melbourne) and Tom Bellchambers (Essendon), the Next Gen Minis Program became an overnight success, after being completely booked out across 5 locations before term 4 had ended.

With children as young as 2 years old participating, the program is an all-encompassing AFL based program that ignites a love of the game of AFL through the teaching of specialised development exercises.

These exercises have the proven ability to encourage positive development physically, mentally and emotionally.

At a time where, on average, only 13% of girls are able to master the skills needed to kick a football, Next Gen Minis has become an industry leader in providing a program that will be accessible to girls nation-wide.

The program is designed to change the stats while encouraging positive development for the years to come.

Founder and co-owner, Ben Clark, is determined to make a mark on the development of the future of AFLW.

“Our program is designed by school teachers and exercise physiologist experts to ensure that the future of AFLW is as bright as it can be,” Clark said.

“There are no limits in what girls can achieve, and we are determined to prove the stats wrong.

“This is a grassroots movement, and we’re proud to instigate this change.”

As part of the Next Gen Minis expansion nationally, the Program will be focusing on increasing female participation and this is further encouraged by co-founder Sophie Cachia, who has a significant online voice.

The Next Gen Minis team and their commitment to making a difference has gained the interest of many high-profile businesses and organisations, with the Program destined to be a never-before-seen resource available in Australia to both participants and their parents.

The Program will:

  • Help children become active, and increase their fitness while positively developing their skills.
  • Encourage transparent communication and team work at an early age.
  • Quash the stats, and encourage female participation in AFL at a grassroots level.
  • Encourage physical, emotional and mental growth and awareness as early as possible to ensure a brighter and more positive transition into adulthood.

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney