Women across the Hunter will lace up their boots again next month to join a football program that encourages them to become active and stay connected.
Born from the demand of mothers, sisters and female spectators who wanted to be involved in soccer, the Kick-On for Women initiative offers a judgement-free environment.
Lake Macquarie’s Mel Foster says her interest in the program stemmed from her family’s passion for the sport.
“My whole family plays soccer – my kids do, my husband does,” she says.
“You can’t just join a team and play full field and know all the rules, and it’s harder to get into as you get older.
“Guys play but the girls tend to drop out.
“My daughter was six at the time and I thought that being part of a team sport would help keep her in it.”
With a commitment of only 45-minutes a week, after general office hours and during school terms, Kick-On for Women has a strong focus on fun, inclusion, and friendship.
It is run by accredited facilitators and provides participants with the opportunity to spend time on their own fitness and wellbeing.
“When you’re playing against guys, they are [sometimes] faster and stronger,” Foster adds.
“But having all the women together creates an equal footing and they’re more likely to have the confidence to get back into it.
“So, Kick-On is a safe space for women to have a go in their comfort zone.”
The program will restart for Term 4 at 6.30pm on Monday 19 October, and is being hosted at locations across the Hunter.
These include Speers Point, Garden Suburb, Swansea, Fletcher, Dora Creek, Mayfield, and Metford.
It is currently being funded through a SportAus grant, which helps to keep program fees at $50 per term.
Visit Northern NSW’s website for more information.