Flinders University is sponsoring a new senior women’s football program to help develop the elite talent pathway for female players.
The announcement comes as Flinders enters its ninth year of collaboration with South Adelaide Football Club, where it is a Joint Major Partner of the Panthers.
“As we enter the brave new world of women’s football in 2018, the increased support from our partners such as Flinders University is invaluable,” said Panthers Chief Executive Officer, Neill Sharpe.
“We are excited to expand the growth opportunities for our female footballers and launch this new senior women’s program, an initiative that would not have been possible without Flinders’ generous backing.
“Flinders’ support of South Adelaide Football Club has been outstanding for the duration of our partnership and we now look forward to supporting our talented female footballers together,” says Mr Sharpe.
Executive Director of Communication and Engagement at Flinders University, Callista Thillou, is equally pleased by the chance for ongoing collaboration.
“Our association with South Adelaide Football Club has provided our students with real-world experience in a multitude of disciplines, including exercise science, physiotherapy, nutrition, education, tourism, marketing, event management, business and finance,” says Ms Thillou.
“Some of our students have even become female Panthers, including Morgan Tucker who has just completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences/Master of Physiotherapy, and Anne Hatchard, who is enrolled for Nursing in 2018.
“We are thrilled to be able to play a part in the growth of women’s football at all levels and promote the important role women play in developing the sport,” Ms Thillou says.
As part of the mutually beneficial alliance, Flinders’ Sport, Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) Research Centre provides world-class fitness testing, coaching and education programs to the Panthers’ junior academy, an opportunity usually only afforded to elite footballers.
South Adelaide’s female football program began in 2015 with the introduction of under-14 and under-16 (now under-17) sides.
The Panthers under-17s have played in grand finals for the last three seasons and claimed premierships in 2016 and 2017.
Next year will be the first year that this program has embraced a senior women’s team with the aim of further increasing female participation in the game and providing women with enhanced opportunities to shine on the field.
South Adelaide’s senior women began training on 14 November 2017 and their official season kicks off on 2 February 2018.