Physical education (PE) teacher David Heinrich is passionate about growing female participation in sport. With support from Sporting Schools, he is encouraging the next generation of female students to foster a love and appreciation for sport.
David was instrumental in applying for a Sporting Schools Club Connect grant and has been working hard to help students at Craigslea State School in Queensland transition into community sport pathways.
“I started coaching my daughter’s football (soccer) team last year and noticed that the participation of females was dropping,” David said.
“I knew my daughter loved the sport, and being involved in a team, and felt confident that other female students would enjoy the experience as well.”
Club Connect supports primary schools to establish and build on their relationships with local sporting clubs. The aim is to help primary school students transition to a local sporting club and develop a lifelong connection to sport.
“With our Club Connect funding in 2021, we ran a girls-only Miniroos program with fifteen girls from year 3. We identified students who we thought would be interested in the program and communicated with their parents to get them involved. Nearly all of them signed up,” David said.
It’s nice to see the program achieve its goals, and personally it’s very satisfying to know I played a role in helping the students enjoy sport.PE teacher David Heinrich
Kelvin Wheeler, Female Technical Director at the North Star Football Club ran the sessions at the club after school.
“The sessions were basic skill-level and filled with lots of games and activities, which the girls seemed to enjoy,” Kelvin said.
“During the 4-week program, I identified the need to give participants the opportunity to continue playing football after the program finished.
“Over the school holiday period, the club set up a free holiday camp for females in the area, and we provided each of the students from Craigslea with a flyer about the program during their final Club Connect session.”
The school also promoted the holiday camp in their newsletter to parents.
“Amazingly, 7 of the students from the school attended the camp, with a couple signing up to play in the 2022 season.
David said, “It really makes me feel good to know these kids are following through.
“It’s nice to see the program achieve its goals, and personally it’s very satisfying to know I played a role in helping the students enjoy sport.”
The Club Connect program will conclude in 2022, with key learnings from the program used to inform the future Sporting Schools programs.