GIRLS are leading the way at Daylesford and Hepburn United Soccer Club.
This season, for the first time, the Ballarat District Soccer Association is launching a competitive all girls under/ 12s competition, and Daylesford and Hepburn United is launching a team to compete.
The move follows the success of the club's girls Miniroos team. Last year around 50 girls registered to play, so the club is establishing a second team this season to cater to increasing demand.
It is also aiming to establish a senior women's team so women can join the club, and younger players have pathways to competitive play.
President Joshua Smith said the club was putting out a call for coaches and senior women's players ahead of the 2019 BDSA competition, which is set to kick off in March.
He said the numbers of women joining the club had ballooned in recent years.
"Fundamentally our club has grown in terms of overall numbers and female players have increased significantly in the last two to three years."
Mr Smith said creating a women's team would create pathways and natural progression for players while giving younger players, like the Miniroos, players to look up to.
"If we can’t provide a pathway for players [at our club] then they will be lost to the sport, and the area, in terms of participation," he said. "It is important to fill in gaps at our club and provide the next steps so players can progress, but also so they don't go to play somewhere else."
It is important to fill gaps at our club and provide the next steps so players can progress.- Joshua Smith
He said the growth in female participation was partly due to councils and the state government working to improve facilities and try to engage females in sport.
The club's Victoria Park clubrooms were recently upgraded to cater to females and will be unveiled ahead of the upcoming season.
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