Fremantle's Fans and Community team hosted the Stars Foundation for a female coaching workshop at the Cockburn ARC on Tuesday morning.

The day was aimed at up-skilling senior female Indigenous students and staff as they prepare to coach the year seven, eight and nine students at the Stars Football Carnival on March 26.

The Stars Foundation provides a holistic program that supports Indigenous girls and young women to attend and remain engaged at school, complete Year 12 and move into work or further study.

Students from across numerous schools around the Perth region began their day with a Welcome to Country presented by Fremantle legend and Next Generation Academy Coach Roger Hayden, before hearing from key Club speakers including AFLW senior coach Lisa Webb and head of AFLW Claire Heffernan and participating in a practical coaching activity. 

Roger Hayden and the Stars students

Stars Foundation regional manager Simon Nimmo said the program aims to offer young Indigenous women with an interest in football the chance to see opportunities available at an AFL Club after graduating school. 

“We wouldn’t partner with Freo or be here if we didn’t feel there was a sincere feel about it,” Nimmo said.

“That’s what we always look for, organisations that are in it for the right reasons, and not to just promote or tick a box. 

“You know that they (Fremantle) genuinely want to provide some decent opportunities for these young people.”

AFLW player Mim Strom with Stars students

Fremantle AFLW and Community Coaching Director Cameron Shepherd said the Stars program plays a pivotal role in laying a foundation for young Indigenous females to become positive role models.

“Both Fremantle and the Stars Foundation share similar values,” Shepherd said.

“When I was discussing with Simon (Nimmo) what we could potentially do together, he came up with an opportunity where we try and help young Indigenous females… and give them some understanding about how to coach and manage young people.

Cam Sheppard and Claire Heffernan addressing Stars students

 “I think programs like this are critically important for the development of not only young Indigenous women but women of all ages, to show that it’s not just a male’s game and is an area where it’s really important that we recognise everyone.

“(Lisa Webb and Claire Heffernan) Were both really well received, obviously the AFLW space is one that is a growing industry.

“Claire’s message was really along the lines of well-being and from a care point of view, and Lisa’s was really right across the board from what’s required to hit the elite standards of AFLW and the great opportunities that there are going forward.