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Girls Day Out to return in 2022


Imagine being a young girl who’s recently reached double-digits in age, and you are lucky enough to get one-on-one time with a professional athlete who’s making their mark in a sport you dream of representing your country in.

That’s what the likes of youngsters Eden, Charlotte and Kyah are set to enjoy in January when Newcastle plays host to its second Girls Day Out event at Empire Park.

The trio are expected to be among hundreds of six to 16 year-olds who will partake in a series of 45-minute clinics both in and around the Bar Beach open space.

The event, to be held between 8am and 2pm on Saturday 29th January, will feature come-and-try sessions in surfing, soccer, rugby league, rugby union, netball and cricket.

The brainchild of Host a Surfer founder Kirsten Ansell, the six-hour event has already attracted an array of elite female athletes including Knights players Mel Howard, Jayme Fressard, Caitlan Johnston, and Bobbie Law, World Qualifying series WQS surfers Philippa Anderson, Alyssa Lock, and Elle Clayton Brown, and retired Giants netballer Sam Poolman.

“It’s really good to meet someone you look up to and be able to play some sport with them for a little bit,” said 13 year-old Merewether Carlton Greens junior rugby player Eden Wilson.

“Last year I had a really good time.”

Hunter Wildfires player Kayla Waldron says joining this year’s event was a win-win situation.

“I can’t wait, I think it’s such a brilliant idea.

“Some of these girls have been playing for longer than I have and I think their enthusiasm and their passion for the sport is going to be great to see firsthand.

“When I was first starting out there were only 7’s competitions you could enter here and there, it wasn’t a full-blown thing – like what the boys have.

“I think it’s awesome to be running events like this and having young girls get involved. 

“It gives them a sense they have somewhere to go within their sport. It shows them this is not just a hobby, that girls can make this a real thing for themselves.

“And who knows we could find some future players at the event.”

For 11 year-old Newcastle Olympic player Charlotte MacNeill, GDO means spending a Saturday within arms length of her heroes.

“Normally we see them on the field but at Girls Day Out you can actually talk to them in person and they help you with tips for your game,” she said.

Newcastle Jets midfielder Cassidy Davis agrees.

“There was never anything like this when I was younger. Kirsten and her team have done an amazing job getting this up and running.

“We were involved last year and it was such a great turnout.

“It’s a great way for the girls to try different sports they might never have thought of before, and they can then see what pathways are available to get them there.

“There’s a lot of exciting things happening in women’s sport.

“It’s been a long time coming but it’s getting better and it’s great to have people who support it so much.”

Girls Day Out tickets are $5 each and will be on sale early January.

Each participant will receive a goodies bag as they enter.

In 2022 the event will welcome new partners Burton Automotive and Hunter Water, as well as support from Comp Eat Nutritionist Alicia Edge. 

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