World- Leading Daughters and Dads Program enjoyed in Orange
4 March 2021
Central West girls and their dads are enjoying the opportunity to participate in a program that aims to give them the skills and confidence to play sport.
The award-winning Daughters and Dads Active and Empowered program, delivered by the University of Newcastle, in partnership with the NSW Government and Orange City Council, targets fathers as the agents of change to improve girls’ sports skills and wellbeing.
The program was rolled out State-wide as part of the NSW Government’s women in sport strategy, ‘Her Sport Her Way.’ The inaugural program held in 2019 was a major success, this year seems no different, with a great roll up and full room on their opening week.
Participant Matt Gamble was eager to join the program after his wife found the information online. He and his six-year-old daughter Sophie have enjoyed the program and encourage Dad’s out there to get involved.
“Sophie really looks forward to it every week, she is engaged the whole time” said Matt. “I initially just wanted to do more stuff with Sophie. It’s a really fun program, and it is physical based, so the Fathers get exercise as well which I probably wouldn’t normally get.”
The free program consists of eight sessions over eight weeks throughout Term 1, featuring educational and practical sessions involving rough and tumble play, sport, and fundamental movement skills.
“They’ve already taught us things on how better to engage with your daughter, and to do something with your daughter everyday even if it’s only for 10 minutes,” said Matt.
Sophie mentioned her favourite activities have included basketball, soccer, thumb wrestling and.. surfing Dad!
“I like standing on Dad’s back,” Sophie giggled. “And I know his favourite movie now!”
Matt continued, “They really show you how to break down the barriers of girls being ‘girls’ and being stereotyped into ‘they only play with dolls’, which is why its sports-based, its proving girls can do it too. It’s just different, there’s nothing else out there unless you are getting involved in your kid’s sport.
“I love seeing the smile on her face, she’s excited to do it. They give you a booklet that you have to do during the week with activities in it and she doesn’t whinge about having to do it, she gets stuck into it and loves it.. which is different to her homework,” laughed Matt.
Through the educational and practical sessions, the program targets fathers as the agents of change, helping to improve their daughter’s sport skills, confidence, self-esteem and resilience.
Orange Mayor, Reg Kidd lauded the program as a great initiative and gave it his full support.
“It’s great programs such as these are being brought out to regional areas to benefit country communities. It is important for local fathers and daughters to be given the opportunity to have these experiences together.”
Register your details to receive information on upcoming Daughters and Dads programs.