On Saturday 8 April the Central District Football Club hosted a match to raise awareness for Novita Children’s Services.
Central District Football Club has been supporting Novita kids, teens and young people through a charity partnership since 2009. Many players, including former Captain Trent Goodrem and nine-time premiership heroes Chris and James Gowans, have acted as Novita Ambassadors over the years.
One of our Novita teens, and keen footballer, Louise Weekley attended the match on Saturday afternoon to make the coin toss and chat to Channel 7 during half-time.
We caught up with Louise to talk all things Aussie Rules, including the rise of female football in Australia and the thrill of the game.
Tell us a little bit about yourself …
I’m 17 and I’m currently studying year 12 at Aberfoyle Park High School. I want to be a director when I finish school and maybe even a screenwriter. Currently I am a level one sports trainer and I’m lucky enough to be one of the trainers at Mitchell Park Football Club.
How long have you been playing football?
I’ve been playing for about 10 years. I started back in 2007 playing juniors at Mitchell Park Football Club where my family was, and still is, a big part of the club. I also played at West Adelaide Football Club, and then moved to Morphettville Park Women’s Football Club in 2015 because it’s closer to where I live.
What’s your favourite thing about the game?
The thrill you get while playing – there is no feeling like it and the fact that your teammates are your mates.
What do you think about the rise of women’s football in Australia at the moment?
I think it’s awesome. It gives girls the opportunity to follow football as a career, which wasn’t an option when I started playing. I was hooked on the AFLW (Australian Football League Women’s) season this year and following the Crows’ Women’s team. I love that I had the privilege of seeing people I have played alongside of, or the senior players from Morphetville Park, at the AFL level and it gives not only me, but also girls from all around the country, hope and a path to one day do the same thing.
You live with cerebral palsy, is there any equipment, or anything different you do, to help you play Aussie rules?
I don’t use any equipment or anything, and I do play unaided, but with the weakness in my left side I do have some struggles. Thankfully, my teammates are fully supportive and always have my back, with understanding my weaknesses, but still treating me like any other player.
How has Novita supported you to play sport?
Once I aged out of being able to play boys football I had to take a couple of seasons off due to not knowing where I could play. Novita linked me to Inclusive Sport SA, which helped me to find a women’s team. So I owe it to Novita for getting me back into the sport that I love. Novita also helped me get into Para-athletics, which I did for a couple of years and really enjoyed.
Do you play any other sports apart from Aussie Rules?
I’ve played quite a few different sports in my life for example basketball and karate but currently with my school, footy and work commitments I don’t really have time to play any other sports.
What does the future look like for you in terms of sport?
I want to continue playing football for as long as I can and continue with sports training. I may decide to play more sports once I finish school, which I wouldn’t mind but I suppose I’ll just see how things go!
Visit the ConnectABILITY page on our website to find out more about how Novita can help your child or teen get into sport.