The West

Girls get their kicks from new league

After years of kicking the footy together at their local park, Atwell sisters Nikita-Rose and Phoebe Hart are finally getting the chance to compete in a local all-girls football league.

The demand for all-girls junior football has prompted the development of a female league in the South Fremantle district.

Six teams, from Armadale, Bibra Lake, Fremantle, Hammond Park, Jandakot and Kardinya, will field sides when the Years 4-7 competition kicks off next weekend.

The girls' mother Kim Hart said she hoped the competition would prove to them there was "nothing they couldn't achieve".

"It means the sky is the limit and there are no longer those boundaries," she said.

"There is no ego, just passion for playing the game together."

Mrs Hart has been touring local schools and was this week joined by Fremantle Dockers midfielder Michael Barlow to encourage more girls to take part in the game.

"A lot of people are surprised at how well the girls can kick," Mrs Hart said.

"It's about showing them how much fun it can be."

WA Football Commission junior development manager Troy Kirkham said the move to increase female involvement was part of the commission's push for a diverse participation base.

As part of that, tomorrow's Western Derby will for the first time feature a half- time game involving deaf students from the School of Special Educational Needs: Sensory.

The game will feature interpreters and require umpires to wear ribbons around their wrists to provide a visual clue to the players.

'There is no ego, just passion for playing the game together.' " Mother *Kim Hart *

The West Australian

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