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Western Sydney Teenagers Reach for the Stars at Celebrating Girls in Sport Festival at Bankwest Stadium

Story and pictures by Emma Rothfield

Talk about climbing your way to the top in life! That’s a 3-storey rock-climbing wall soaring high above the hallowed turf at Bankwest Stadium today . . . and scores of girls from Parramatta district high schools were up for the challenge.

Students aged between 13-17 from Marsden High School, Pendle Hill High School, Arthur Phillip High School and Tara Anglican School for Girls turned the Stadium into a hive of athletic activity as part of the annual Celebrating Girls In Sport Festival.

The young stars of the future heard from a panel of successful women in sport:  Samantha Jurman (Channel 7 Producer & Marconi Stallions Media Manager/Football Administrator), Paige Hadley (Australian International & Swifts Netball Player), Kristiana Manu’a (Australian International & Giants Netball Player), Jessica Moore (former Professional Tennis Player), Annalyse Lister (GWS Giants AFLW Player) and Teale Blessington (Cricket NSW State Infrastructure Manager).

Swifts star Paige Hadley encouraged the young women to chase their dreams and to be resilient in the face of inevitable challenges.

A range of sporting activities were provided by some of the State’s most prominent sports bodies – Cricket NSW, Tennis NSW, Mark Cowper Tennis, Western Sydney Wolves, BaseZero Rock Climbing, ACPE, Netball NSW and local NRL club, the mighty Parramatta Eels

City of Parramatta has been running the highly successful Celebrating Girls in Sport Festival since 2012 in the Local Government Area.

The objectives of the event are to:

    • Encourage and promote increased participation by girls and women in sport;
    • Create awareness of, and showcase what programs, services and employment opportunities exist within the sporting landscape;
    • Celebrate the successful and inspiring women who are already achieving great things in the sporting domain;
    • Educate and inform girls about healthy and active lifestyles; and
    • Provide a networking and social opportunity for girls and young women through sport.

Bankwest Stadium was built #ForTheFans and the community. The Girls In Sport Festival was the latest in a series of significant community events held at the Stadium that has quickly become part of the fabric of booming Western Sydney.

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