JUNIOR footballers and netballers were treated to a clinic at Horsham’s Coughlin Park on Saturday with professional athletes Daisy Pearce and Liz Watson.
Pearce, an AFLW player with Melbourne, and Watson, who plays netball for the Melbourne Vixens, hosted a two-hour clinic. Around 35 girls joined the football session, while more than 50 took part in the netball clinic.
Pearce said the numbers and enthusiasm from the girls were fantastic.
“It went really well and it was good to see such good numbers, but it wasn’t a surprise to me because regional country football clubs are often good breading grounds,” she said.
“Country football is close to my heart and often they don’t get access to stuff like this, although local coaches do a great job. It’s good to get out there and make sure country kids get a chance too.”
Pearce, originally from Bright in north-east Victoria, said there were some exciting prospects in the group.
“There were a couple of real guns out there who play for the Rebels and will be in the mix for the draft in a couple years,” she said.
“It’s good these pathways can reach as far as Horsham. There was also a little girl out there about 10 years younger than the others but she was just one of the gutsiest ones out there.”
AFL Wimmera-Mallee development manager Jason Muldoon said the girls learnt plenty from the clinic.
“It was great having so many numbers and we didn’t have a whole lot of time to organise it,” he said.
“To have two professional athletes at the top of their game come down is fantastic. Women football in the region is still in its infancy so having someone like Daisy Pearce come here to hold a clinic will do wonders.
“Having Daisy come down for a session like this will hopefully inject a bit more passion for the game into the girls. Netball always has great numbers and Liz Watson is a fantastic ambassador for the game.”