Adelaide’s AFLW stars have shown their support for the Tjindu Foundation’s female Indigenous Academy athletes.
Sarah Allan, Chelsea Biddell and Najwa Allen were joined by inaugural Adelaide AFLW player Tayla Thorn to answer questions, share advice and provide on-ground support to the team before and during their game against Immanuel College.
The Tjindu Foundation Academy provides the opportunity for school-aged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to experience a high-performance environment, engage with mentors and complete a Certificate III in Sport Coaching.
Academy athlete Lakeesha has been involved with the program for the past two years and said opportunities like this were important as she chased her AFLW dreams.
“I love being around the girls and having that sisterhood connection with them,” Lakeesha said.
“I watch the AFLW girls play a lot and I’m hoping they will give us some tips and tell us some of the things that they do in the field.
“AFLW is something I want to work towards and a goal that I am working hard to chase.”
Adelaide defender Sarah Allan was excited to support the Academy athletes.
“After COVID last year, we didn’t have many opportunities to be spending time with the community, so we are really happy to be here today.
“I was able to play football for most of my life and there was a pathway for me, so I am really passionate about showing these girls that it is an option to play football for your whole life.”
The game falls in National Reconciliation Week and Allan said the players were inspired by this year’s theme ‘More than a word – Reconciliation takes action’.
“If I can say something today or encourage someone to continue in their football journey, then that would mean the world to us,” Allan said.
“Reconciliation is about Indigenous and non-Indigenous people coming together and the game today is a great representation of that.”