By: Jessica Webster
The Tiwi Bombers Youth Girls football team have proven anything is possible with the right attitude and dedication towards reaching a common goal.
Although winning a Grand Final – when nearly everyone on the team was playing
for the first time in their lives – wasn’t a big enough achievement, perhaps the real fruits of their labour are yet to come.
The Tiwi Bombers represent more than football – they are a group of young women aiming to create positive social change in their home community of the Tiwi Islands.
Starwin Enterprises partnered with the Tiwi Bombers Football Club in 2014 to develop and implement a rare young women’s leadership program, using football as the driving force.
They won the Grand Final of the under-16s competition by three points in thrilling fashion over powerhouse club St Marys, which had won every Grand Final in the league’s history up until that point.
There was an overwhelming display of emotion from the side after their long journey to premiership glory.
The Bombers played in a Youth Girls trial series in 2010-11 but only one player from their 2014-15 side had ever played football before.
They used 36 players throughout the season from across five schools and 13 different remote communities.
Not once did the side ever train together, but such was the commitment from the squad, coach Karina Gray had 30 players to select from for the Grand Final.
Gray is also director of Starwin Enterprises and delivered the program, on and off the field, from start to finish.
The leadership program’s selection process was based on school attendance, positive leadership and healthy lifestyle choices, while the players also participated in a Menzies Research session and Zumba and Freestyle fitness sessions during the season.
But the Tiwi Bombers Youth Girls program doesn’t stop at the final siren. Starwin Enterprises is hoping to partner once again with Diamond Creek Football Club in Victoria to deliver their successful exchange program to improve talent pathways for Tiwi women, while a TalentEd camp is also on the cards for August thanks to Active in Parks.
With most of the players aged 13-14, not only will the side continue to develop for a few more years together on the field, but it could be the beginning of a more positive life off the field for these inspiring young women.
Visit our page to find out more:- www.starwin.com.au/leadership/youth-girls