Bundaberg's very own AFLW legend Emma Zielke will be in town this weekend at a special meet and greet event aimed at inspiring young sporting enthusiasts in the region.
Hosted by AFL Wide Bay, locals will be able to chat to the Brisbane Lions AFLW Premiership Winning Captain for 2021 while also checking out the cup at Takalvans this Sunday from 9am.
AFL Wide Bay's sponsorship and community relationship officer Mark Mason said the event was about getting the community together to talk about the growing pathways of women's sport in the region.
“Not only is this a chance for the general public to come along to meet Emma, we are also organising our aspiring players to chat to her about her journey,” he said.
“These girls will be able to ask Emma many questions about pathways, personal development and much more.”
Emma has been a pioneer of women’s football ever since she arrived in Brisbane from her hometown of Bundaberg as a 19-year-old.
In 2013 she helped establish a women’s team at Coorparoo and captained the inaugural side that went to win the SEQAFL – Women’s League Premiership.
Come 2019, Emma claimed her fourth state league Premiership – winning the QAFLW in a landslide victory over Bond University.
Mark said Emma was a fantastic role model for young female players who were looking to get involved in AFL.
“Emma has had a great career, having been an inaugural captain of the Lions for the first few years, then going on to have a personal hand in the development of clubs and teams, to now being the Brisbane Lions AFLW Premiership Winning Captain for 2021,” he said.
“We hope that, after meeting Emma, our up and coming female players will take away confidence in the sport and feel confident that we have a pathway into AFL that is professionally structured.”
Mark said the AFL landscape in Bundaberg had been changing in recent years with more emphasis on creating positive opportunities for female teams.
“AFL has been played in the female space in Bundaberg for only four years but in that time the growth has been amazing,” he said.
“At the start of this season, with the help of AFL Queensland, we ran a development youth girls program and we had 18 girls show up which we were pleasantly surprised with.
“Eventually, and I think it will happen quite quickly, we will develop a youth girls competition.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey is among the many locals excited to welcome Emma home and, in recognition of her contribution to sport and her representation of the Bundaberg Region community on a national stage, he will appoint her Honorary Mayor for the day.
Emma Zielke will be at Takalvans at 94 Takalvan Street this Sunday from 9am to 10am.
Find out more here.
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