Our Nest was bathed in sunshine and smiles on Sunday May 2 with the launch of the 2021 MiniRoos Program. As a nationwide Football Australia program, MiniRoos Kick Off is an introduction to soccer for kids aged 4-9.
The program uses short, game-based sessions to share the fundamentals of the sport in a fun, engaging, and inclusive environment and for many, a first opportunity to participate in football, the world’s most popular sport.
It was especially exciting to see so many youngsters return to the fields, after a very long break, and a difficult year for many families in our community. It was a real loss of momentum after an outstanding level of achievement across all levels of playing football, culminating in our Vice President and Head of Soccer, Jasmine Hirst being awarded Victoria’s Female Administrator of the Year in the Rebel Female Football awards in late 2019.
Early in 2020, the Football Federation Australia reported that the number of women and girls playing football in Victoria has risen to record numbers, as football participation in Australia climbed to more than 1.95 million in 2019.
The impacts of the Covid shutdown on community sport for girls are still playing out. Like all community soccer last season, the 2020 MiniRoos program had several false starts, with 3 weeks of sessions taking place in June 2020 before it was cancelled.
The MiniRoos Kick Off Program uses introduction sessions that are designed to be player-centred, and use game-like situations rather than technical drills, and focus on ensuring all players have fun and have maximum involvement.
With 80 players and 18 coaches registered for the 2021 MiniRoos, the program will run at the Falcs until early September.
“It is the heart and soul of our junior soccer program. It is the beginning of a pathway into sport, and the foundation of all our junior programs right the way up to seniors. If girls can see how much fun sport can be at this age, then we provide them with the basis for a lifelong involvement in sports and physical activity.”
In 2021, the program features 18 committed and passionate coaches. Half, or 9 coaches are players, from the club’s U14 and up teams. These young people are keen to be part of the development side of football, planning and delivering sessions for beginners, with flexibility, patience and positivity. And the other 9 coaches are parents, demonstrating the strong commitment to the player centred nature of MiniRoos; of promoting ongoing participation in football and a lifelong love for the game.
It is the focus on enjoyment that researchers say is a key factor for initiating and maintaining involvement in sport. The 2021 program is fully subscribed so anyone who would like to get onto the waiting list or get communication about next season should contact [email protected]