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AFLW: First Darwin Crows Cup

To have about 100 girls out here today, on International Women’s Day, I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate.
Bec Goddard

Adelaide’s AFLW team met the next generation of female footballers on Thursday ahead of their match against Fremantle in Darwin on Friday night.

AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) alongside the Crows women’s team started the Darwin Region School Sport and Northern Territory Government Crows Cup (NTG Crows Cup).

Approximately 100 participants formed eight teams in the girls-only interschool football carnival that was first developed in 2016 by Adelaide co-captain Chelsea Randall.

The NTG Crows Cup aims to encourage girls in middle-school years to give football a go in a comfortable environment.

At Garden Oval, the travelling Crows AFLW players cheered on grand final participants, offered a hand with official presentation duties and met the young girls giving football a go.

The carnival has already been successfully rolled out across regions in South Australia, and Thursday’s event was the first of its kind in the NT.

Participating schools were; Darwin Middle School, Dripstone Middle School, Essington Middle School, Marrara Christian College, Nightcliff Middle School, O’Laughlin Catholic College, Sanderson Middle School and St John’s College.

In 2017 the Territory witnessed a 15 per cent rise in female participation in Australian football, and with just over a third of all NT football participants now female, carnivals like this have a captive audience.

Adelaide’s AFLW coach Bec Goddard said it was a terrific initiative.

“To have about 100 girls out here today, on International Women’s Day, I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate in Darwin or a better place to be.


AFLNT Manager of Game Development Emily Wastle said the elite game continued to positively impact and grow the game at the grassroots level.

“We see more young girls wanting to play football than ever before, and events like the NTG Crows Cup are designed to foster their interest, and teach them the skills in a fun, inclusive environment,” Wastle said.

“The AFLW competition and Crows team have a positive impact and we will certainly look at the potential of expanding the competition into other NT regions in the near future.”

The Hon Minister for Tourism and Culture, Lauren Moss MLA, said the Government was proud to support the Crows Cup and Adelaide women’s team.

“We are delighted to have partnered with AFLNT to support the Crows Cup Carnival which provides a fantastic opportunity for girls in Darwin Region middle schools to compete in an interschool football carnival aimed at encouraging young girls to give football a go in a fun and safe environment,” Moss said.

“We are also very proud of our support for the Adelaide Crows AFLW team and it is fantastic to see these elite sportswomen in action here in Darwin again this year.”