The Adelaide Crows are leading the way with a new program to help Indigenous women fulfil their AFL dreams.

An academy has been launched in the City of Churches where participants will focus on skill acceleration and education—including nutrition, mindfulness and wellness.

The Crows have gained the support of the Cancer Council’s Quitline and the Crows Children’s Foundation to provide a unique program to Aboriginal teenage girls hoping to make the South Australian state squad.

Only four Indigenous Australians are in that squad and head coach of the program Bronwyn Davey hopes to increase that number.

But the goal is much bigger for the club. Adelaide Football Club CEO Andrew Fagan says there’s always more to do to help the next generation of players.

“Our club wants to give these girls the best chance to fulfill their potential and we think the academy will give them the best tools and support to do so.”

Financial support from aforementioned sponsors will provide the equipment and hire the facilities needed to run the program.

Spokesperson for the Cancer Council, Peter Thomas, said the AFL is a fantastic vehicle to get the smoke free message through to communities.

“Research from Cancer Australia also shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are almost twice as likely to develop and/or die from lung cancer as non-Indigenous people,” Thomas said.

“Being smoke free ensures elite sporting performance.”

The coaches have started identifying talent for the academy by running trial sessions in West Lakes and regional Port Augusta.

It’s the first program of its kind in Australia.

By Keiran Deck