A co-designed, co-delivered program with St Kilda Football Club and Holmesglen Institute, that offers girls the chance to combine sports technology with communications.
We know that many girls often disengage with STEM subjects by the end of Year 8. Negative perceptions of their own abilities, their confidence to lead in a classroom environment and limited opportunity for them to apply technologies in real-world scenarios contribute to them opting out and limiting their future options.
Concurrently, girls are falling in love with AFLW. They are playing, supporting and contributing to a sporting code that is smashing societal barriers, harnessing technologies and fostering empowerment and self-worth.
Monash Tech School is constantly generating new ways to engage students with technology in a meaningful and accessible way. It is both a challenge and a privilege to design Industry Immersion events that support student insights.
Partnering with St Kilda Football Club and Holmesglen Institute, International Womens’ Day was the perfect date to unpack technologies, talk pathways and explore individuals’ potential in an AFLW environment.
The girls enjoyed four rotations throughout the day.
St Kilda AFLW’s dedicated players, facilities and Club staff were dedicated to the Industry Immersion for the day. Led by Captain Hannah Priest and supported by AFL Women’s All-Australian team midfielder Georgia Patrikios, the girls enjoyed sessions that discussed physical and mental health, sleep hygiene, nutrition and lifestyle. Practical examples of how data were used to evaluate and improve choices and performance were provided.
St Kilda’s Higher Education Programs Lead Dean Ingrisciano led the Careers and Pathways discussion, unpacking the vast range of roles and opportunities available at the St Kilda Football Club alone. The AFL is a destination of choice - inclusive, achievable and rewarding; as a player, a club employee or part of the tech sector which supports codes, clubs and individuals.
The girls used Catapult Technology whilst playing friendly 9s games. This generated data, which the girls learned how to download, access and analyse. Students reflected on how they think they performed and compared their self-analysis to how the technology captured their performance.
The friendly 9s was also an opportunity for Holmesglen Institute’s current Advanced Diploma in Sports Management students to organise and facilitate. This was a great way for the girls to learn more about Vocational Education pathways at Holmesglen Institute whilst enjoying a supportive sports activity in a really safe and encouraging environment.
Following lunch, the girls heard from St Kilda AFLW High-Performance Manager Tayla Jack, who spoke about the innovative practices the club uses to evaluate and enhance player performance.
The final rotation was delivered by Holmesglen Institutes Media, Content and Communications Leader Dave Kennedy. Dave has worked extensively in Sports Journalism and led the girls through a social media communication exercise where they had to communicate data content to different audiences, including club members, media outlets and the coaching team.
The courage the girls showed by volunteering to present their pitches to the audience was impressive. Many girls stepped up to pitch their communications solutions – demonstrating their growing bravery and learning at the end of the day. If the pitches weren’t enough evidence, the girls were asked to write one word on a purple card that summarised how they felt about IWD and their Supersport experience. The positivity of the affirmations on the cards was overwhelming.
Supersport was always focused on demonstrating the links between sport, self-awareness, technology and opportunities. The partnership carefully weaved themes of empowerment, self-belief, self-reflection, technology and the power of making informed decisions about pathway opportunities. It demonstrated that girls don’t have to be elite sports players to enjoy a rewarding, satisfying career in an AFLW Club. St Kilda, well supported by Holmesglen Institute, demonstrated that girls with diverse interests, talents and skills are welcome in the AFL code, playing, supporting, analysing and communicating the insights that technology brings to the modern game.
To complete the day, students were issued with an MTS-designed digital badge which has been co-branded with St Kilda Education and Holmesglen Institute. The badge captures skills, tasks and experiences across the day and can be included on a resume, LinkedIn or other social media platforms.
The partnership demonstrates the exciting career pathways available to young women in community and elite sports levels. Importantly, Supersport created a safe environment for girls to explore TAFE pathways as a genuine alternative tertiary option or as an opportunity that could be accessed during a gap year. It also clearly demonstrated how technology is being used in the sports industry, permitting girls who don’t play themselves to identify multiple destinations that combine a love of sport and a passion for STEM.