29 May 2023
Football Australia’s Future Matildas squad are the newest graduates of the AIS Early Career Development Program, which provides athletes with the tools to make informed decisions about their career trajectory.
The Future Matildas program has been supported by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) since its inception in 2019 and aims to nurture and develop the next generation of the women’s national team.
Current squad members took part in the three-part online course that focuses on helping developing athletes better understand themselves, recognise their strengths and explore potential pathways beyond sport.
Football Australia’s National Female Wellbeing Manager Janet Drakos said they are big supporters of the program and that they are always looking to empower their athletes to grow on and off the field.
“Through increasing their awareness and providing them with education, knowledge, resources and support networks we can support our athletes through the various transitions they will face emotionally, mentally and in their social development both during and beyond their football careers. Ultimately, we are looking for our athletes to connect, learn, thrive and succeed with all aspects of their football and life not only becoming better football players but also more well-rounded individuals,” said Drakos.
Delivered through the AIS Professional Development Team, the program provides an introduction into avenues of career support such as the AIS Career Practitioner Referral Network (CPRN) which pairs athletes with world-leading career consultants who offer professional career advice.
During the program the squad heard from Australian ariel skier Abbey Willcox who spoke about her experience with the CPRN and how various professional development opportunities led to her working for the Brisbane Broncos.
Future Matildas athlete Hana Lowry said the program has made her feel more independent and that she hopes to study nutrition in the future.
“I think it’s really important to develop holistically because we need to have a balance between football and other life experiences,” said Lowry.
Maya Lobo said the program has helped her identify areas of development unique to her as an individual.
“By acknowledging some of the values I possess it has helped me learn that I can utilise these values to build on areas of myself as both a person and a player,” said Lobo.