This year’s Korin Gamadji Institute (KGI) Lagunta Sisters are excited to participate in next week’s state wide Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association (VACSAL) Football Netball Carnival in Echuca after participating in a two-day netball and leadership program in partnership with Netball Victoria.

Twenty young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls from across Victoria nominated themselves to participate in the Lagunta Sisters Netball Program over two weekends in August and September at the Victorian State Netball and Hockey Centre in Parkville.

The program aims to identify and develop Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young women to support talent pathways as well as strengthen cultural connection, leadership, and health and wellbeing education.

The young women aged 13-17, participated in netball training sessions, match play, coaching, and culture and leadership sessions.

Tayla Walsh, Laguntas Sisters participant from Gippsland in Victoria reflected on the program.

“Not only am I learning just netball skills, I’m also learning leadership skills, and how to utilise that on the court and also off the court,” Walsh said.

“(The program is) making sure I’m learning about netball, but also about culture and how to implement it into sport.”

Jacqui Newton, a Melbourne Vixens Training Partner generously gave her time, along with fellow Vixens Training Partner, Rahni Samason to develop the girls’ netball skills.

“I think specific pathways like this really pinpoint areas where we can have players coming through, and I think this program in particular really gives these girls an opportunity to come together, to meet new people, to develop not only their on-court skills, but their off-court skills as well, so that’s really exciting,” Newton said.

The participants will now represent the KGI in two netball teams in the U15 and U17 competitions in VACSAL’s Football Netball Carnival in Echuca in early October.