Nine Indigenous athletes will play for Queensland at the U18s National AFL Championships in July.

The news comes a fortnight after the release of the latest figures from Sport Australia, that show the number of Indigenous athletes playing organised sport is on the rise.

This spike is also in line with a huge increase in the number of women playing Aussie Rules football.

The 33-player Queensland State Academy squad includes rising star Kitara Whap-Farrer. The 17-year-old is one of the first three players to sign with the Gold Coast SUNS for their inaugural AFLW season in 2020.

AFL Queensland State Female High Performance Manager Kath Newman said the team selected is very strong.

“The quality of the team is a credit to their junior coaches and the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Academy coaches that have worked with these girls to get them to this stage,” Newman said.

Whap-Farrer is one of eight players from North Queensland in the squad who have moved to the Gold Coast to further their football careers.

The team has a warm-up game in Perth next month before returning to the Gold Coast for the National Championships in July.