Sydney FC Foundation launches female grassroots program

Sydney FC Foundation has launched a new program, ‘She Can’ that looks to break down barriers to sport faced by young girls across the country.

In the final school term of 2022, fourteen pupils from Illawarra Sports High School took part in the first iteration of ‘She Can’, tackling topics such as confidence, leadership, menstruation, body image and relationships.

“It was great to watch the girls take part in the She Can Program this term,” said Amy Child, Director of Sport at Illawarra High School.

“They got stuck in and opened up about some topics that are really import to young girls in sport,” she added.

On participant said: “She Can has allowed me to open up and talk to the girls about things I wouldn’t normally talk about.”

Another participant said: “I have also been able to learn more about who to talk to if I have issues with different things that might put me off taking part in sport.”

Sydney FC Foundation Chair, Jenny Abood is proud to be launching the ‘She Can’ program.

“Sydney FC is a club known for supporting and developing champion women footballers.  We are proud of what our women have achieved domestically and offshore over the last 15 years and now to roll out the She Can Program to keep young girls playing sport is fabulous.” 

“Our Board appreciate the importance of such a program, especially given the heightened interest in the beautiful game as we approach the Women’s World Cup this year, hosted in Australia,” she added.

Sydney FC’s Premium Partner Under Armour supported the program by providing participants with a sports bra each to use during (and after) the program.

“Buying and identifying a sports bra amongst such a wide range can be overwhelming for young girls and has been identified as a barrier to participation, so to have Under Armour’s support in this way is fantastic,” said Foundation Manager Alex Reilly.

“The girls were excited to try on and wear a sports bra that fits and that they could play sport while feeling comfortable. Thank you to Under Armour for their support.”

Echoing these sentiments, Abood added, “we are most grateful for the support of Under Armour and invite support from all those who share our passion for women in sport.”

Sydney FC Foundation’s ‘She Can’ program was developed using research* that investigates why young girls aged 11-17 in Australia have lower retention rates in sport when compared to their male counterparts of the same age.

‘She Can’ comprises of both practical and theory elements that hope to equip participants with skills and a better understanding of their own support networks that barriers to participation can be overcome as they arise, and girls can continue playing their sport of choice.

* Independent research conduction by Snapcracker Research in 2019.