The Sydney Swans AFLW squad travelled to Newcastle last weekend as part of the first ever league wide AFLW Community Camp program. As pre-season preparation continues, it was a valuable opportunity for the team to bond with each other and inspire the next generation of girls in footy.

Proudly supported by City of Newcastle and in collaboration with AFL NSW, the squad appeared at an all-girls super clinic, AFLW coach masterclasses and an U9 girls’ gala day.

Lisa Steane who hails from Nelson Bay, just 60 kilometres north of Newcastle, shared her excitement of the opportunity.


“I feel very privileged to be in the position that I am, where I can come back to my home ground now as a professional player and share my wisdom,” the midfielder told local media

“One of the girls asked, ‘Is it fun playing for the Sydney Swans?’ And I said, it's the best job in the world.”


Girls aged 5 – 12 were encouraged to participate in a range of skills and drills on Saturday at No.1 Sportsground, before finishing with a signing session. Up-and-coming coaches and umpires also took part in clinics with senior representatives at the club.

“The pathway was very different for me,” the 29-year-old added.

“I'm just so glad that women's sport is moving in the direction that it is and that girls have the opportunity to come through a lot more developed pathway than what I had.”

The weekend concluded with an U9 girls gala day at Pasterfield Sports Complex in Cameron Park – 16 kilometres west of Newcastle. It provided an opportunity for girls in the surrounding region to try Australian rules football in a fun environment with modified rules.

While Alice Mitchell was raised in Sydney, she fostered her love for footy in the northern NSW town of Gunnedah. A former Mosman Swans player, Mitchell moved to Gunnedah to play with the Bulldogs and went on to win their local championship in their first ever women’s team.

Her advice to regional talent?

“There's always someone watching, you never know who's in the crowd, who has a connection somewhere,” she shared with local media.

“Just keep showing up, bring the enthusiasm, keep doing footy because you love it with your mates and just see where that takes you.”


The countdown continues to Round 1 of the 2024 NAB AFLW season. The Sydney Swans will appear in a season opener against Collingwood at North Sydney Oval on August 30.

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