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West Coast Eagles

AFLW: Dana's diary - Back in business

Dana Hooker returned to action in the WAFLW at Leederville Oval on Saturday

It’s been an incredibly busy few weeks in the Community and Game Development department, but I capped it off in the best way possible by jumping back into what I enjoy doing most!

The July school holidays were jam packed with appearances and training clinics.

It started out with back-to-back mid-year clinics with over 500 kids attending.

The number of females involved astounded me, with three times the number of girls participating in comparison to previous clinics.

I feel incredibly proud and a sense of accomplishment when I get to see all the young girls involved in these opportunities and thriving in the football environment.

The rise of AFLW and how it has evolved over the past three years has done wonders for young girls and having AFLW, West Coast Eagles Female Academy and AFL players facilitating the stations provides female role models as equals at the forefront. It’s pretty powerful stuff.

We then followed it up the next night with a BHP family clinic, which provided the children of BHP staff the opportunity to participate in a similar training clinic but in our brand new indoor training hall.

Showcasing our new facility to our diversity and inclusion partner and just getting involved in an active and fun way bringing the club together was important for our partnership.

I also had the opportunity to head out to Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Centre, spend some time with young girls in the detention centre and talk to them about my pathway to playing elite football and what has driven me to be my best.

Having a kick of the footy and shooting some hoops with the girls in a more informal environment allowed me to talk with them freely and hear their stories. The wise words of the club’s Aboriginal Liaison Officer Phil ‘Magic’ Narkle were also invaluable.

Last Wednesday I headed north to Port Hedland with one of our sport science staff members, Naoise (just call him Irish) and spent the day providing education to students at Hedland Senior High School about the use of GPS data for players at training and on match days.

The opportunity for the students to put on one of their favourite player’s GPS units and have a run around brought a whole new energy to the sessions. Understanding why we use them and their application for elite preparation was great for the kids.

Getting involved in the games with the students and ensuring they bring great effort to the matches is what I love doing.

They may have got a little cocky at stages by trying to take hangers on me during the match, but it was good preparation leading into the weekend, when I put the boots on for the first time since the 2019 AFLW preliminary final!

I had been hanging out to play for Subiaco in WAFLW and get a few games in prior to pre-season officially commencing for West Coast.

I love my training and pushing the limits in the gym and on the track in the off-season, but nothing beats getting out on the park with your teammates.

And fortunately the result went our way; we won a one-point thriller against Swan Districts at Leederville Oval!