Netball WA, West Coast Fever and Glass Jar Australia are proud to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) and support this year’s theme of Each for Equal.
This year’s theme aims to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.
Empowering young women is at the core of netball in WA. Over the last six years Netball in WA has put a strong focus on helping to close the gap specifically for young Aboriginal women through its initiative, Shooting Stars.
Shooting Stars uses sport and other activities to encourage greater engagement and attendance at school of young Aboriginal girls living in remote communities in Western Australia.
Former Shooting Stars participant, Saripha Sesar started the program in 2017 from Year 10 in her hometown of Carnarvon.
“Shooting Stars is a family to me, it has supported me through my schooling and given me the opportunity to create connections with my community, in the workforce and participants from other regional sites,” said Sesar.
Having now graduated, Saripha has joined Shooting Stars as a site-based trainee in Carnavon where she is hoping to have a positive impact on other participants.
“What Shooting Stars has done for me, I can now do that for other students. It’s something I’m really passionate about, giving back to other people.”
Shooting Stars Executive Officer Fran Haintz explained the importance of programs such as Shooting Stars in remote communities.
“Saripha Sesar is just one of the many amazing participants we’ve had pass through our program. There is nothing more powerful than a woman determined to succeed and through Shooting Stars we provide our participants with the resources to flourish as confident leaders,” said Haintz.
“The program places a big emphasis on developing our participants leadership skills, providing access to corporate experiences, via engagement with female leaders in business, giving participants a taste of success and a toolkit to implement their leadership style moving forward.”
Netball WA Chief Executive Officer, Simon Taylor, said the governing body for the State’s largest female sport was proud to be behind Shooting Stars.
“Netball WA is proud of the work being done through Shooting Stars, using our great sport and other activities to overcome the barriers to rural and remote Aboriginal women’s leadership opportunities,” said Taylor.
“Netball is built on the foundation of empowering women by providing its participants with community, confidence and leadership. Netball plays a key role in reducing gender bias and creating an equal world. An equal world is an enabled world.”
West Coast Fever Head Coach, Stacey Marinkovich, shared her appreciation for the connection between the Club and Shooting Stars.
“Amongst our club there is a strong connection between the team and the Shooting Stars participants, with Courtney Bruce and Verity Charles being Ambassador’s for the program,” said Marinkovich.
“The players are always eager to get involved with Shooting Stars. Through regular site visits and taking part in their annual Leadership Camp close relationships are developed with the participants and it is heartwarming to witness first-hand the growth in confidence of each of the girls thanks to the work of Shooting Stars.”
“At an elite level of netball, leadership and resilience are paramount and West Coast Fever plays a significant role in inspiring young women.”
Netball continues to flourish remaining the number one female sport in Western Australia with 240,000 participants across the state. At an elite level Suncorp Super Netball is the number one female sporting code with a range of benefits supporting players to continue both professional and education pursuits, a maternity leave scheme and an average player salary of $67,000.