In a state first, Northern NSW Football has launched its Kick-On for Women program, a modified football program to encourage women to get fit through a more social and accessible format of soccer.

From Monday, October 21, Kick-On for Women will span across 22 locations throughout metropolitan, regional and remote NSW and has been made possible thanks to a $162,000 grant provided through the Federal Government’s Move It Aus program.

Women’s soccer has never been more popular throughout the region, with NNSWF reporting yet another five per cent increase in female participation across the region in the 2019 traditional soccer season.

In Narrabri there were several women’s matches played throughout the year, including the most recent which was an exhibition six-a-side game on Saturday as a part of the ‘Back to the ‘Bri’ celebrations.

The Narrabri Kick-On for Women program hub coordinator Sam Lubke-Wood said that she was excited for the new program to begin, and encouraged all women to have a go.

“We will be starting at Gately Field on Tuesday, 22nd of October,” she said.

“It will be fun, welcoming and encouraging and will inspire new friendships and healthy habits.

“It has been designed for women, and it is $50 to register for the term.

“There will be eight sessions which will start at 6.30pm and run for 45 minutes a session where we will do 20 minutes of skills and 25 minutes of game time.”

Within Northern Inland, there will be seven locations hosting the Kick-On for Women program including Narrabri, Tamworth, Armidale, Inverell, Gunnedah, Lightning Ridge and Coonabarabran.

NNSWF chief executive David Eland said the program was born from feedback from mums, sisters and girlfriends in football who were interested in the sport, however not able to overcome the barriers of self-confidence and time commitments.

“By creating safe, comfortable and welcoming environments, women wanting to learn the basic skills of the game can do so in a supportive, judgement-free and social space,” Eland said.

The Kick-On for Women program is aimed for females over the age of 16 who are currently not active or have had a period away from organised physical activity.

Eland highlighted that the program was deliberately aligned to Sport Australia’s Find Your 30 campaign.

“The 45-minute sessions are often run on Monday evenings, to help women kick-start their weeks,” he said.

“They also run over an eight-week term, the shorter format is designed to entice women who are time poor due to family and work commitments to participate in the program.”