FIREBIRDS INSPIRE NEXT GENERATION IN NORTH QUEENSLAND

The Lorna Jane Queensland Firebirds maiden regional tour thanks to Suncorp #TeamGirls has been an overwhelming success.

More than 400 girls attended free clinics across three days at three separate netball associations, all of whom, are Firebirds association members.

Beginning in Cairns on Friday, the roadshow made its way south to Townsville before wrapping up in Mackay on Sunday.

Star trio – Laura Clemesha, Caitlyn Nevins and Mahalia Cassidy all flew to North Queensland and were blown away by the response and participation level from the girls.

“It really puts things in perspective coming up here and seeing all the smiles on the young girls faces,” Cassidy said.

Growing up in a country town, Nevins knows firsthand the significance their visit will have on local communities.

“It is a great opportunity for us to get out and see a few of the major regional centres.

“I am from country Victoria so I understand the importance of getting out there to regions that do not have regular access to athletes.”

In partnership with Suncorp, the Firebirds regional tour also focused on promoting #TeamGirls.

The #TeamGirls initiative aims to build confidence and self-esteem in young girls by championing supportive behaviour and values, something Clemesha is right behind.

“It is about getting the girls on court, getting them engaged via netball and really showing them how sport can be a great tool to empower and really grow their confidence.”

At each of the three locations, the local juniors were split into groups and were taken through court clinics conducted by each of the three Firebirds players.

Following the sessions, the young girls were treated to a special #TeamGirls presentation by Suncorp ambassador and former Firebird Clare McMeniman to kickstart the conversation around the pressures facing young girls today.

For Nevins, the tour was not only about teaching skills on the netball court but offering valuable life lessons off it.

“We talked about the challenges we’ve all had along the way and told the girls through perseverance you can achieve whatever you want to.”

Nevins, Clemesha and Cassidy all resumed Firebirds training in Brisbane early on Monday morning in preparation for their Suncorp Super Netball season opener against the NSW Swifts on April 29.

Tickets are selling fast for the Firebirds first home game in Round 2 when they host Queensland rivals the Sunshine Coast Lightning at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on May 6.

#IAMFIREBIRD #TEAMGIRLS

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