AFL Northern Territory has announced that the a new AFL Women's High Performance Academy, supported by Karen Sheldon Catering will be housed in the new Michael Long NT Thunder Learning and Leadership Centre.
"Women's participation growth in the Territory has grown tenfold in the last 12 months and we want to provide female participants with equal opportunity and access to the facilities and talent pathways that their male counterparts currently have,” said AFLNT Game Development Manager Wayne Walsh.
The Women's Academy, will be housed alongside NT Thunder in the new centre, which is due for completion in late 2013.
"It will see budding female players enhance their football skills through development sessions run by AFL High Performance coaches, former AFL stars and the Territory’s best female football coaches.
"It will also provide opportunity for the NT female coaching fraternity to further their skills and development through the various levels of coaching courses that are currently offered by the NT Thunder Talent and Coaching staff," advised Walsh.
The AFL's Female Development Manager, Jan Cooper welcomes the announcement and sees the Territory as a great frontier for female development.
"I have seen first hand the skills of the Territory girls and providing a formal structured program to get these girls to the next level with their football is fantastic news.
"The facility itself will provide a great base and platform from where women's football can become more professional in the Northern Territory,” said Cooper.
Principal partner of AFLNT’s Women’s Programs in the Northern Territory, Karen Sheldon Catering are ecstatic with the news and what this program will provide to girls and women across the NT.
"This program will provide a focal point where youth girls -- particularly in remote parts of the NT -- can see that they have the same opportunities to develop their football skills as well as their life skills through AFL. We are so proud to be associated with this great initiative,” said Karen Sheldon.
The announcement comes on the back of confirmation of $15m in funding for the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre project from Regional Development Australia, the NT Government, the Aboriginals Benefit Account and the AFL.