WOMEN in Leongatha and surrounds are invited to step up their soccer skills in a fun, low cost series of workshops now on offer at SPLASH.
A partnership between the South Gippsland Shire Council, YMCA and GippSport, the Soccer Mums program is running indoors at SPLASH over the next four weeks, from 9.30am-10.30am every Thursday, with all women with an interest in soccer (not just mums!) encouraged to head along and join in fun activities designed around increasing soccer skills and building fitness.
All levels of fitness and ability are welcome, and the first session is free, so there’s nothing to lose by having a go.
And if find yourself getting hooked – like Katie Stewart of Leongatha and Tanya Doolan of Berrys Creek who’ve been attending the workshops for the past three weeks – the total cost for all sessions is just $10!
Katie decided to take part, because, in her own words, she’d been “stalking” the Leongatha Knights women’s soccer team for years, wishing she could join in, but not knowing how to take the first step.
“I’d love to get onto a team eventually,” said Katie, who’s enjoyed learning about the sport of soccer in a “really encouraging environment”.
“I can bring [my son] Logan along and it’s not scary or confronting like rocking up at a club would be,” she said.
Tanya’s motivation to get involved came from belonging to a soccer-mad family, as well as a desire to keep fit and meet new people.
“Both my children and my husband play with the Knights, and I thought I’d better see what I’ve been missing out on!” she said.
Leongatha Knights coach and player Bethany Milkins runs the Soccer Mums sessions, and describes them simply as a place to “have fun, get active, and learn a little bit about soccer”.
“It’s not intense or competitive, and it’s not just for mums, despite the name!
“It’s for anyone who’s never played before to come and see if they like it without having to sign up for a season or go along to a club training, where they might be intimidated by the skills of experienced players.”
Bethany says soccer may appeal to women, over other sports, because it’s action packed, with very little stopping and starting, but it’s also non-contact and has a “really good, supportive culture”.
She encourages women to try out a Soccer Mums session, saying that if there’s enough interest, more sessions will be held over summer, outdoors; and the Leongatha Knights may even start up a women’s reserves team.