The Northern Suburbs Football Association (NSFA) was delighted to announce the remarkable success of its inaugural Thea Slatyer Cup, a girls' high school football tournament held on November 14 and 15, 2023.
This two-day high school girls' football tournament, held at the NSFA home of football North Turramurra Recreation Area (NTRA) brought together 650 players, 48 teams, and 29 participating schools from across the Northern Suburbs of Sydney and broader NSW, making it the largest event of its kind in the region.
The tournament, named after former CommBank Matildas' player, Thea Slatyer, aimed to celebrate girls' participation in football and foster a love for the sport. As an Olympian and former Australia Women’s National Football Team member, she started her youth career at Northbridge FC and Greenwich FC. The NSFA Thea Slatyer Cup pays homage to her legacy and aims to inspire the next generation of talented female footballers.
Inspired by the recent 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup and the growing popularity of women's football in Australia, the NSFA Thea Slatyer Cup provided a platform for young female footballers to showcase their skills, develop their talents, and experience the camaraderie and sportsmanship that football offers.
"The event was a great way to bring schools from across our region and NSW together to participate," Kristi Murphy, Female Football Development Officer at NSFA said. "It was inspiring to see so many girls passionate about football and eager to compete."
Kevin Johnson, CEO of NSFA, echoed Kristi's sentiments, highlighting the significance of the tournament in promoting women's football and encouraging participation among young girls. "It's great to showcase the opportunities we can provide to new and returning footballers," he said. "We hope that off the back of the FIFA Women's World Cup, many of these girls choose to play football in 2024 and beyond."
The NSFA Thea Slatyer Cup, featured a Junior Cup on Day 1 for Years 7 & 8 teams, followed by the Senior Cup on Day 2 for Years 9 & 10 and Years 11 & 12 teams. Teams earned points through match victories, with bonus points awarded throughout the day for fair play and school spirit.
The tournament's significance goes beyond its immediate success, as it is earmarked to contribute to the growth of football locally in 2024. Kevin Johnson highlighted the strategic vision, saying, "We believe in the potential of these events to shape the future of football in our community."
The young participants of the event also shared their excitement around the event.
"The Matildas have influenced a lot of girls, I think [girls football] is going to grow a lot. It encourages us to keep going and to pursue professional football," one participant said.
"The Thea Slatyer Cup was a great way to build on my skills, work with my teammates and make friends from different schools."
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