Kicking Goals On and Off the Field
Deadly Sista Girl and Whadjuk Ballardong young Woman, Mahalia Rukuata has been leading by example while kicking goals on and off the football field. Mahalia was recently selected to join the Under 16s WA State Female Football Academy after representing West Perth Football Club in the 2021 Kirby Bentley Cup Grand Final.
The Deadly Sista Girlz Program (DSG) focuses on building self-esteem, confidence and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity and teaching the students about building healthy relationships, encouraging active self-development and increasing school attendance.
Currently, 1046 girls are mentored through DSG and 100 percent of the program’s staff are First Nations people.
DSG Mentor and Operations Manager, Alicia Janz said she is proud of Mahalia’s perseverance to overcome challenges and celebrate her success.
“There were times when she was competing in multiple sports, was sore and tired, had an injury or loss motivation, but she still pushed through and came to training,” she said.
The aim of the DSG program is to empower students to build self-confidence, enabling them to reach their goals. The program was able to support Mahalia by providing transport to training sessions and coaching to help her juggle multiple sporting commitments.
Mahalia hopes to inspire younger generations to never give up and encourage other girls to take on new challenges.
“Never stop trying and take all the opportunities you can get,” she said.
With the help of her mentor, Mahalia played her first Rogers Cup game for Swan Districts Football Club recently and was named best on ground from the club.
Supported by the National Indigenous Australians Agency, the Deadly Sista Girlz program has reached 5046 girls since 2007 and continues to deliver mentoring across 17 sites nationally.
For more information about the Deadly Sista Girlz program, click here.