Sapphires set for further growth in 2022

Sapphires set for further growth in 2022

Sapphires is NSFA Sunday morning girls only football, providing an inclusive and empowering environment for girls U6 to U11. We want young girls to develop a love for football and make good friends.

NSFA has identified Sapphires as an area to support and facilitate a strong connection with the game. We currently have 371 teams aged U8 to U11 in the mixed space this is compared to 84 female teams – building depth in these age groups will form the long-term female football player base in the region.

XLR8 provides female only development programs to support female players with a positive experience with the game. Our Sapphires Skills Development program is led by inspiring, caring and engaging female coaches. The aim of the program is to build confidence in our players while developing technical skills in a fun empowering environment.

“The Sapphires Skills Development Program is a real passion of mine,” says Kristy Murphy, XLR8 Sapphires Head Coach.

“I really enjoy seeing the girls continued development week in week out and leaving each coaching session with loads more confidence and big smiles on their faces!”

NSFA have also introduced G6/G7 flexible playing format to provide female players with a positive and fun introduction to the game. The program operates in a North and South hub where the girls play at 9am. Young female role models facilitate fun warm up games before they split into small-sided games.

The flexible and inclusive nature of the program has seen 50% growth from year 1 to year 2. By providing an additional playing format to mixed U6 and U7 Miniroos supports clubs having the player depth to field U8 sapphire teams that are suitable for the players needs.

“The G6/G7 program has transformed girls introduction to football at KPFC,” explains Andrew Frost, President of Kissing Point Football Club.

“The flexible, encouraging ‘what’s best for her’ approach provides a brilliant environment for our youngest players, allowing girls to play with their friends if they’d like rather than just offering a mixed team option.

“Our increased number of young girls teams, retention rate, growing female participation rate across the club and most importantly fun on the pitch on Sundays is great testament to the success of the program.”

Summer Football is another great alternative format for existing as well as new players to the game. It is a fantastic opportunity for female football players to encourage their friends to give it a go. We have created a female football hub at NTRA and extended our competitions to include U8 girls to U11 girls competition. The goal is to provide a great football experience that inspires U8 to U11 girls to get involved in club football during the winter, with plans to expand to more venues in 2022.

NSFA and its clubs have structures and programs in place to provide a positive, inclusive and empowering experience for young females as part of the What’s Best for Her Strategic Plan. Together we are working together to inspire a deep love for the game across the community. We understand and appreciate the impact football can have on an individual and the social connections developed. If you are thinking about getting your daughter involved or if she is involved already encourage her friends to join the fun!

If you have any questions or want to discuss more about Sapphires opportunities, please reach out to Eilidh Mackay Head of Female Football

Female football in NSFA is proudly supported by Harvey Norman.

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