The West Coast Eagles recently developed a female-focused wellness program that will be delivered to high school students across Western Australia.
The Soar Wellbeing Series for Girls has been designed to foster the development of skills, knowledge and strategies for adolescent female footballers.
The objective of the program is to promote healthy attitudes and practices that will help young women take responsibility for their wellbeing.
Delivered by AFLW players and staff, the series of four modules is aimed at 14 to 18-year-old females and aligned with the current WA education curriculum outcomes.
The program will be trialled at Perth College in November and delivered by West Coast Eagles midfielder Dana Hooker.
“This education series provides vital information to young women that will improve their understanding of key performance issues,” Hooker said.
“The information is so valuable and I wish I had access to this specific education iwhen I was younger.
“The content would have helped me in many of the common challenges that must be faced and overcome by female athletes to perform at their best.”
The four modules of the SOAR program are:
1. Healthy food relationship: nutrition and recovery
- Focus on the development of a positive relationship with food and eating for improved lifestyle and athletic performance
- Education on nutritional elements of recovery post training and games
2. Training for elite performance
- Education on the physical demands of training with a focus on self-improvement regardless of participation level of students
- Elemental coverage of strength and conditioning, goal-setting, mental wellbeing, study/work/life balance.
3. Athletic movement and injury prevention: Overcoming the ‘Female Q Angle’
- Education regarding the skeletal ‘female Q angle’, responsible for females’ higher susceptibility to lower limb injuries regardless of athletic activity
- Practical module includes specific exercise protocols to reduce risk of injuries for female athletes.
4. Body image and the impact of menstrual cycle on performance
- Education for athletes and coaches around the impact of the menstrual cycle on training and performance
- Discussion of considerations of the four phases of menstruation on training and performance, with the individual nature of symptoms, including current scientific research
- Focus on building confidence in students’ own body and embracing changes that occur with physical training