Richmond is pleased to announce the establishment of a ground-breaking program that will pave the way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to play elite-level Australian Rules Football.
Delivered in partnership with AFL Victoria and VicHealth – and modelled on the highly-successful Laguntas program for males – the Boorimul program will identify and develop talented, young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) women, to not only maximise their football potential, but develop them as culturally affirmed and resilient community members.
National tier-one construction company Probuild will also support both male and female programs – joining Richmond as a presenting partner, providing significant financial support.
In addition to enhancing on-field talent, the new program will also provide opportunities for ATSI females to engage with Australian Rules Football through umpiring, coaching and administrative work.
The name Boorimal is emu in wurundjeri language. Always moving forward, the emu is unable to walk backwards. It is quick and agile when taking off to run and spins 180 degrees with a swift kick.
Complementing the work undertaken by the Korin Gamadji Institute and Next Generation Academy program, Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said the Boorimul program supports the Club’s commitment to the ATSI community and growing female participation.
“Richmond – through the work of the KGI – has worked hard, in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, to deliver important outcomes for young people and this is another example of that commitment,” Gale said.
“As a provisional licence holder in AFLW, we have made a commitment to driving participation outcomes and we are well placed to deliver this program having previously established the highly-successful Laguntas program, in partnership with AFL Victoria and VicHealth.
“This announcement comes off the back of the alignment the Club recently established with the Bendigo Thunder women’s team, a partnership that also aims to promote participation and develop top-end talent.”
The first intake of the program – which will focus largely on 16 to 20 year olds – will be in the second half of this year.
National tier-one construction company Probuild will support both the male and female programs as a presenting partner.
AFL Victoria Indigenous Programs Manager Aaron Davey said the program would be a key factor in increasing the diversity in our game.
“In partnership with VicHealth and the Richmond Football Club, AFL Victoria is excited to develop the Boorimul program which will use football as a vehicle to help increase participation opportunities for young Indigenous women,” he said.
“As of 2017, only five per cent of the total playing pool in the AFLW league is of Indigenous background, so we hope that through the introduction of the Boorimul program we can see that number become even greater in the near future.”