The rise of Australian Rules Football in Queensland is set to continue following a game-changing decision by the Queensland Girls Secondary Schools Sports Association (QGSSSA).
In the QGSSSA’s 115th year, its board has approved Australian Football as an official sport from 2024, after several years as a ‘trial sport’.
The history-making move coincides with an exciting strategic partnership with the Brisbane Lions and its co-major partner, Caltex.
This is set to see Australian Rules Football included in QGSSSA’s program rolled out into schools to help with the development of players and coaches.
QGSSSA Executive Officer, Amy Anderton said the vision to be the ‘leading secondary school girls sports association’ has been bolstered by the partnership.
“This exciting first of its kind partnership will assist us in the provision of a new well-resourced innovative sport that offers our member schools a high-quality development program that encourages participation and elite performance,” Anderton said.
“As passionate promoters and advocates for young women in sport, this partnership provides our athletes with access to the highest standard of coaching and leadership development, whilst increasing accessibility to professional female sporting career pathways. An incredibly exciting time for our students, schools and school girls sport”.
The participation growth of students learning Australian Rules Football through the QGSSSA program has been immense in the past three years alone.
In 2021 just 1200 students gained a taste for Aussie rules football in term four, with that boosted to 15 senior teams and 28 junior teams taking part in the first year of the trial competition in 2022.
In 2023, this growth has continued with 22 senior teams and 38 junior teams competing.
The Brisbane Lions are beyond excited by what will come of the new partnership, with the Club already home of two former QGSSSA students in Dakota Davidson and Kate Lutkins.
“The QGSSSA is an important lynchpin for female football across Brisbane,” Lions Head of Women’s Football Breanna Brock said.
“It’s a great first touch point for these girls. It is a great way to introduce them to the game, hopefully making them lifelong participants and fans of the women’s game.”
Caltex Sales Support Team Lead, Rebecca Adams said the continued growth of women’s sport in Australia was inspiring, and Caltex was excited to help continue that growth starting right here in Queensland.
“Caltex is extremely proud to be playing a role in supporting the QGSSSA and helping grow female sports in Queensland,” Adams said.
“At Caltex we are always striving to give our customers the best experience possible and in this case we want those in the QGSSSA program to have the best experience.
“And as Co-Major Partner of the Brisbane Lions, it is also great to again be teaming up the with Club to boost the AFLW pathways through the QGSSSA program.”
The partnership is set to see the growth of Australian Rules Football continue through the QGSSSA program.
One person who has witnessed the growth and is buoyed by what the future brings is Principal of Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School and QGSSSA President, Dr Marie Perry.
The QGSSSA President said the successful inclusion of Australian Football into the QGSSSA competition had the ability to changes the lives of those involved.
“This partnership with the Brisbane Lions and Caltex is greatly appreciated as it will further enhance the Australian Football offering for our girls,” Dr Perry said.
“This comes at an important time in women’s sport, as the improved profiling of women’s sport has increased participation and also highlights the opportunities for sporting career pathways for our girls.”
QGSSSA member schools
- Brisbane Girls Grammar School
- Brisbane State High School
- Clayfield College
- Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School
- Moreton Bay College
- St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School
- St Hilda’s School Gold Coast
- St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School
- St Peters Lutheran College
- Somerville House