COMMITTED TO NEW PROGRAM: NRL game development officer Blake Mara assists our future female NRL stars.
COMMITTED TO NEW PROGRAM: NRL game development officer Blake Mara assists our future female NRL stars. Matt Collins

Giving girls the best start in league

SOUTH Burnett girls will have the chance to play footy with and against one another in their home towns thanks to a new program starting next month.

Players from nine to 12 years old will play on Friday nights for three weeks from Friday, March 8, at 6-7.30pm as part of the South Burnett Girls' Gala Tour.

Kingaroy will host the first night as part of the tour, followed by Nanango and Murgon.

The region's NRL game development officer Blake Mara is committed to making sure girls have the best experience they can playing rugby league.

"It is a chance for girls to dip their toes in the water and try rugby league in a safe and fun environment,” he said.

"I am going to make sure I am heavily involved to make sure their experience is quality and that the volunteers are picking up positive habits to make sure they have a positive experience.”

Wearing their club jerseys, the girls will get involved in learning tackling drills and then playing games as part of the gala tour.

Mara knows the interest is there, with 16 under-12 girls taking part in the South Burnett Rugby League beyond the nest camp earlier this year.

"It will be great if we can get 20-25 girls on the night because it is very important we build our player base from ground up,” he said.

Beyond the four-week tour, girls can play for the South Burnett Eagles in Toowoomba's girls' competition.

Toowoomba is the closest competition to the South Burnett that offers an under-12 competition.

Playing in Toowoomba on Friday nights gives girls the chance to back up the next day for their club.

"Girls who play for South Burnett can still play club footy with the boys on the weekend,” Mara said.

"If they still want to participate with their local club they can still do that and then it won't have any effect on club numbers.”

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