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Sunshine Coast Lightning Karla Pretorius

Sunshine Coast Lightning Prepared For Women In Sport Summit

M
inistry of Sport is set to deliver the Women in Sport Summit 2021 on Friday in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council and Tourism and Events Queensland.

The Summit, which hopes to inspire women to rise up, dream, believe, create, and succeed in sport, will take place at the home of Sunshine Coast Lightning, USC Stadium.

Sunshine Coast Lightning CEO, Danielle Smith, and captain, Karla Pretorius, are set to make keynote speeches at the event on Friday, ahead of Lightning’s match against the Magpies on Saturday at USC Stadium.

Smith and Pretorius will discuss the community and culture of the Club, identifying some of the challenges and highlights of Lightning’s history as a start-up.

Speaking ahead of the event, Pretorius said: “I’m thrilled to take part in the Ministry of Sport Women in Sport Summit alongside a number of highly talented speakers and to hear insights from across the broader sport sector.”

“Being part of a start-up Club like Lightning has been such a rewarding and eye-opening experience and there have been so many learnings from year one to now.

“I hope to share my experience from a player’s perspective and re-live some of the highs and the challenges that are associated with those initial seasons.

“From the first phone call with Noeline Taurua (former Lightning head coach), moving across the world and living with my teammates who were effectively strangers, to winning a Premiership in that first year – it’s an experience I will cherish forever,” Pretorius said.

Smith will also share her insights from bidding for a licence, the recruitment of coaches, players and staff, to establishing a strong club culture, and the importance of community, to winning a Premiership in under a year.

Smith said: “With so much potential for further growth, it’s a great industry to be involved in right now.”

“Whether you’re a participant, fan, partner, supplier, or someone working behind the scenes, there’s so much opportunity and I’m sure you’ll hear a lot about that from the fantastic line up of speakers, as well as some of the challenges,” she said.

The Women in Sport Summit 2021 will kick off a weekend full of women’s sport on the Sunshine Coast, with the Women’s State of Origin set to take place on Friday night at Sunshine Coast Stadium, before Lightning host the Magpies on Saturday at USC Stadium.

Tickets are still available to be purchased for the Summit and can be viewed here.