By Callum Ludwig
The Healesville Junior Football Club and Worawa Aboriginal College have teamed up to help ensure as many girls can be involved in football as possible this year.
To recognise their new merger, the teams presented the Under 14 and Under 16 sides with brand new training tops designed by an older student at Worawa Aboriginal College.
President of the Healesville Junior Football Club Zach Coleman said as many girls playing football as possible is what the new age of football is all about.
“We are a big club, and we’d like to get even more girls’ teams in the club. We’ve got a U12’s, U14s and U16s but didn’t have the numbers for the U18s, who have gone up and are playing Open Age Women’s at the senior club,” he said.
“This partnership was about how we recognize the relationship between the two clubs, and so we decided to come up with the training/warm-up top to symbolise it.”
The training top is in the traditional red and white colours of Healesville, with an Indigenous design intersecting the white ‘V’ of the jumper. The new team goes by the moniker of the ‘Eagle Hawks’ replacing the ‘Bloods’ Healesville are normally known as.
Mr Coleman said the introduction of the Worawa girls is breathing new life into the club, and the support from club sponsors helped organise the transition.
“The excitement and the joy that they get out of watching and playing the game is phenomenal,” he said.
“Our sponsors, Fast Freddies Tyre Services, The Kitchen Design Centre and HICCI our major sponsor, were more than happy to jump on board, the desire for them to be involved was really pleasing.”
HICCI sponsored the tops for the girls through a successful application for a Sports Participation Grant from the Yarra Ranges Council.
HICCI President Libby Prentice said it was a great opportunity for HICCI to engage with the desires of its members.
“We had actually put to our members after the whole Covid lockdowns for two years where they wanted to concentrate some of our funding and one of the key things was towards young people, particularly getting them back into their sports and activities where they can be together,” she said.
Just really proud to have the opportunity to be a part of joining the two teams together and having the girls getting to know each other and playing together, it’s excellent.”
The U14 Eagle Hawks currently sit fourth on the ladder and play Upwey-Tecoma at their Queens Park home ground, while the U16 Eagle Hawks play third-placed Emerald away at Worrall Reserve in what is a crucial second vs third clash, in round 10 on Sunday 19 June.
Ms Prentice said it’s a really important opportunity given what kids have missed out on over the last couple of years.
“They’ve missed out on so much social growth and social participation, I think it’s a perfect opportunity and really important that they keep active and just really enjoy each other’s company and have fun,” she said.
“Football teams are the perfect opportunity as they bring a lot of people to get together.”