THE inaugural Ken Wyatt Cup for female students was held at Harmony Fields Oval in Maddington on Friday last week with Governor Stirling High School comfortably taking out the Grand Final over the Clontarf Aboriginal College girls by 26 points.
The one day round robin modified rules footy carnival kicked off at 10am with Yule Brook College, Clontarf Aboriginal College, Gilmore College, Governor Stirling High School, Mater Dei Catholic College, La Salle Catholic College, Southern River Senior High School and Katanning Senior High School all taking part in the competition.
The game themselves consisted of two eight minute halves with teams allowed 16 players apiece and an unlimited bench.
But the idea behind bringing all these schools and students together was more than just your average footy or sports carnival.
Supported by the Wirrapanda foundation and Ken Wyatt, the Federal Member for Hasluck, the event was designed to be a celebration of female education, employment and Australian football.
Participating students were given the opportunity to engage with local women workers, and shown various employment presentations that aimed to provide realistic examples of the different job prospects that exist for women locally.
Apart from the Wirrapanda foundation a number of other business and organisations threw their weight behind the concept with the City of Gosnells, Department of Training and Workforce Development, Derbal Yerrigan Aboriginal Health Service, Health Consumer Council Australia, Water Corporation, WA Police, FESA, Perth Football Club and the West Coast Eagles Football Club all becoming involved.
Wirrpanda Foundation Director David Wirrpanda said the establishment of the Ken Wyatt Cup will provide significant aspiration and opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls.
“We are currently working with the girls at grass roots level in our Deadly Sista Girlz program to go to school and make healthy lifestyle choices.
“To have sporting pathways for these girls would reinforce the work our mentors are doing and provide aspiration for the next generation of Indigenous female mentors,” Wirrpanda said.
The Federal Member for Hasluck was also extremely proud to champion an event that he said would help encourage and empower young women to pursue their career goals.
“The Ken Wyatt Cup is not only providing a pathway for young women to succeed as athletes, it is also, through the employment presentations, encouraging them that they can achieve anything they set their mind to,” Mr Wyatt said.
The man behind the winning team, Governor Stirling AFL Football coordinator Sam Cavicchio was naturally delighted to see their Year 7-10 girls football team take out the inaugural Ken Wyatt Cup.
According to Cavicchio there are approximately 140 students, participating in Governor Stirling’s Australian Rules program and the effort of the girls to win the Ken Wyatt Cup was made all the more meritorious by the obstacle they had to overcome to achieve victory.
The school’s team is disadvantaged as they currently only have one Year 7-8 specialist all girls class, supplemented by a few additional female players sprinkled through the various boys groups in other years.
But he is hopeful in future there will be as many girls in their footy program as there are boys.