KICKING ON: After going through the eight-week Kick On For Women soccer clinic in 2019, Tina Schilling, 41, is now hoping to join a Lismore-based club and develop her skills during 2020.
KICKING ON: After going through the eight-week Kick On For Women soccer clinic in 2019, Tina Schilling, 41, is now hoping to join a Lismore-based club and develop her skills during 2020.

’Life-changing’ soccer program brings women together

WHEN Tina Schilling joined a few friends to play in the Kick-On for Women program in Lismore last year, she knew it would be fun.

But she did not expect it to be so life-changing.

Schilling, 41, was one of 400 women across Northern NSW who took part in the introductory soccer clinics across 20 locations in October.

She said she enjoyed the program so much she was now looking at joining a soccer club in Lismore.

“I wanted to do something for myself,” Schilling said.

“This was something that involved exercise, strength training and a fun team environment where I could learn soccer skills.

“I joined with some friends; it’s been good for my fitness and mental health to show up, learn some skills and have fun.”

Although Schilling was familiar with soccer through her children’s involvement with clubs at Alstonville, Lismore and the Liverpool Academy, she loved getting on the field.

She said the program gave women time for themselves.

“I’ve gained some confidence and I’m hoping to sign up with a club if I can find one that wants me,” Schilling said.

“The coaches were all great and it’s a really good environment,”

Kick-On co-ordinator and Thistle women’s premier division striker, Madison Fiedler, 22, said the program was very successful.

Fiedler said the fact some participants were now considering joining a soccer club was a positive result.

“We had around 23 women take part last term in Lismore which was a really good response,” she said.

“The emphasis is on fun and having a good time, (and) we also teach basic skills.

“It’s great some ladies from last term said they might be interested in playing for a team this year.”

Fiedler said the 2020 program commences in Ballina and Lismore next month.

Kick-On for Women project officer Michelle Forbes said the first program had been a great success, bringing women of all walks of life together.

She said thanks to SportAus, participants who registered for the eight-week Term 1 program will be able to register for just $50 (discounted from $80).

More information at https://northernnswfootball.com.au/kick-on/